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Browsing by Subject "AAC"

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  • Järvinen, Heli (2017)
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects social interaction, communication and behavior. Since effective communication and interaction is a prerequisite for learning, the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods has been considered necessary in study environments. The education professionals' perspectives and attitudes towards the use of AAC methods have been linked to the extent to which they support the development of communication skills of their pupils using communication aids. The purpose of this study is to describe the experiences of autism classroom teachers and classroom assistants in the use of AAC methods. This topic is examined based on the benefits and challenges that autism education professionals associate with the use of communication aids, the number of factors contributing to the successful use of the AAC methods as well as the development of the students' communication skills. In this study nine education professionals who worked in autism education classrooms and school's afternoon activities in Helsinki were interviewed. The interviews were conducted as semi-structured individual interviews, which discussed the use of AAC methods for students with ASD. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and analyzed by using inductive thematic analysis approach. Finally, the themes of each research question were compared with each other. Based on the results of this study, AAC methods are particularly useful not only for communication between students and education professionals, but also for the students' ability to express themselves, to develop better social skills and to become more independent in their everyday lives. The challenges of using AAC methods related to usability factors, students' developmental abnormalities, education professionals' practices and various resource issues. Professional co-operation, motivation, favorable usability factors of the AAC methods, and factors related to the activities and roles of education professionals were seen to influence the successful use of the AAC methods and to improve the students' communication skills. In addition, the interviewees strongly emphasized the importance of students' spontaneous communication and speech development in the motivation and work satisfaction of education professionals. The autism classroom teachers' and classroom assistants' experiences in the use of AAC methods emphasize the importance of training and multiprofessional co-operation in support of the use of communication aids and development of students' communication skills. Based on the results of this study, the speech therapists' counseling activities can be regarded as significant for the development and maintenance of the education professionals' AAC skills and for constituting positive attitudes related to the use of AAC methods. This study highlights the importance of further research focusing particularly on more specific identification of challenges related to the use of AAC methods in autism classroom education.
  • Jaakkonen, Essi (2020)
    Aims: Aided communication has been noted to differ both developmentally and in practise from speaking in many ways, often being significantly more compact, more incomplete and slower. It has also been noted that a speaking listener’s active role as a co-constructive assistant easily reduces the independency of the aided narrative. There is very little research especially of aided narrative skills of children and ad-olescents using a communication book. There is also need for workable evaluation methods.The aim of this case study was to describe the narrative features of a 15-year old boy using a communication book in depicting silent videos, and the things that affected the independency of his aided communication. Methods: The 18 narration tasks with three different communication partners were transcribed. The transcription was then interpreted by tasks and by partners based on the material. The success of the nar-rations was compared to the video events with a four-step assessment scale, and the diversity of the nar-rations was described by counting and classifying the used symbols and sentence structures. The defi-ciency in expression was compared with the vocabulary in the book. The efficiency of the examinee’s symbol expression was also measured. The micro- and macrostructures and the fluency of the independ-ent narration was measured using the Narrative Assessment Profile. The partners’ influence on the narra-tion was observed at a general level. Results: The examined adolescent could quite often get to a result compatible with video events and flexibly use his often insufficient communication book vocabulary. In every task, he was able to stay on topic and correctly sequence the events he expressed. The results supported previous findings about the compact, slow and incomplete expression of the aided communication that is sometimes even disrupted by a partner’s active participation. Especially the amount of extra questions in a co-constructed aided narration supposedly affected its fluency, explicitness and effectiveness as well as the number of inde-pendent utterances. Conclusions: One cannot draw direct conclusions from a single case, and also the other abilities of the examinee had an effect on the performance for their part. Over the analysing process, it was noticed that the aided communicator actively adjust their planned narration on many levels to support their partners’ understanding. Thus, the inappropriate features in speaking may turn out to be appropriate, considering the situation, and vice versa. Narration adjusted to situation and vocabulary may thus, despite its ostensi-ble conciseness, embody the aided narrator’s strategic competence, where the communication partner has a crucial supporting role.
  • Kattelus, Enni (2015)
    Objectives. Narrative means a way of report, understand and structure a lived experience. It is an important mean of self-expression and interaction and people use it to share information with each other. The ability to narrate appears when child becomes an active participant in fantasies, stories and actions related to himself. Children with speaking disabilities often use communication books or other equipment as an alternative or augmentative mean of communication. Their possibilities to narrate can be more limited than speaking children, due to several reasons. This study describes the characteristics of augmented narratives that are formed with communication books. This study also describes how the characteristics of narratives differ when the elicitation method is changed. Also the role of communication partner and communication aid is discussed. Methods. Study consists of two physically disabled 13 to 16-year old boys who used communication books as a alternative mean of their communication. The research material was gathered during the spring of 2014. The material consists of video recordings of examinees performing three kinds of narrative assignments. The video material was transcribed and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively in the contexts set by the research questions. Results and conclusions. Macrostructure of the narratives produced by communication book varied. Most diverse narratives filled the characteristics of a perfect narrative whereas the most compact narratives mainly focused on describing individual events. The narratives were mainly short and use of grammatical function words was scarce. Expressions of cohesion was mainly scarce and monotonous as its best. Narratives of children communicating by AAC-means differ from ones of children developing normally and expressing themselves with speech especially on microstructures' behalf. These results support and complement previous research. Further research is important to achieve a sufficient perception of particularities of augmented narratives so that the communication aids can be developed to better support the language development and expressional needs of these children.
  • Saloranta, Aila (2022)
    Speech pathologist is in charge of AAC implementation in Finnish health care. A speech impaired person can also be granted additional support from an AAC teacher as adaptation training. This service supports other means of rehabilitation. There is only little research on the teamwork of speech pathologists and AAC-teachers both internationally and in Finland, but it appears so that the teamwork has been rare but there is motivation for increasing the teamwork. This thesis tries to sort out the experiences of speech pathologists and communication teachers working inside the Helsinki metropolitan area regarding teamwork between the two different professional groups. This thesis focuses on what kind of experiances the professionals have, the factors affecting the teamwork and finding out what kind of teamwork is seen as beneficial for each professional´s own work. The subjects of this thesis were 21 speech pathologists and 12 AAC teachers working inside the Helsinki metropolitan area. The subjects worked as entrepreneurs or in private enterprises, basic health care, special health care or organizations. The working experience of the subjects varied between 1 and over 10 years. The data was gathered by a questionnaire and analyzed with inductive content analysis. The teamwork between speech pathologists and AAC teachers appears to not be common and sometimes there is no teamwork ar all. Both the speech therapists and AAC teachers are however motivated in increasing and developing the teamwork. The most important factors affecting the teamwork are challenges in timing, lack of knowledge and the flow of information. Both professional groups felt sharing information, joint goalmaking, setting a division of labour, joint planning and learning from each other to be beneficial. The challenges that hinder the teamwork cand be lessened by for example adding information and education in the matter.
  • Sihvonen, Kati (2015)
    Tässä pro gradu –tutkielmassa tarkastellaan puhevammaisuuden ja sosiaalisten suhteiden yhteyttä. Tutkielman taustalla on havainto kommunikaatiokysymysten marginaalisesta osuudesta sosiaalisen vammaistutkimuksen kentällä. Marginaalisuutta osaltaan lisää se, että puhetta tukevia ja korvaavia kommunikointikeinoja (AAC) käyttävien vammaisten ihmisten ääni on vaarassa rajautua vammaisuuteen kohdistuvan laadullisen tutkimuksen ulkopuolelle, etenkin jos tutkimusaineistona käytetään suullisia tutkimushaastatteluja. Tavoitteena on kuvata puhevammaisten ihmisten sosiaalisia suhteita ja tuoda esiin puhevammaisuuden merkitys sosiaalisten suhteiden verkoston muodostumiselle. Tutkielma kiinnittyy monitieteiseen sosiaalisen vammaistutkimuksen ja sosiologisen perhe- ja läheistutkimuksen kenttiin ja lähestyy puhevammaisuuden ilmiötä sidoksellisuuden teoreettisessa viitekehyksessä. Metodologisesti tutkielma nojaa laadulliseen tutkimusperinteeseen, narratiivisuuteen ja sosiaaliseen konstruktionismiin. Tutkielman aineisto koostuu seitsemästä suullisesti ja osin AAC-menetelmin tuotetusta omaelämäkerrallisesta haastattelusta. Haastatteluaineistosta muodostettiin narratiivisen analyysin avulla puhevammaisten ihmisten sosiaalisia suhteita käsittelevät tutkimuskertomukset, joiden pohjalta puhevammaisuutta tarkastellaan suhteessa aiempaan vammaisuutta sekä perhe- ja läheissuhteita koskevaan tutkimuskirjallisuuteen. Elämänkertomukset sisältävät määrällisesti eniten kerrontaa perheenjäsenistä. Suhteet perheenjäseniin muodostavat puhevammaisten ihmisten sosiaalisen verkoston rungon, ystävien ja tuttavien täydentäessä sosiaalisten sidosten kokonaisuutta. Sidoksellisuus lapsuuden perheeseen korostuu erityisesti niissä elämäntilaniessa, joissa kertojalla ei ole parisuhdetta tai lapsia. Yksin asuminen lisää myös ystävyyden ja tuttavien merkitystä verkostojen muodostelmassa. Elimellisen puhevamman vaikeus ei yksinomaan selitä sosiaalisten suhteiden muodostelman laajuutta tai yksittäisen sidoksen tiiviyttä, joskin puhetta korvaavien kommunikointikeinojen käyttö saattaa merkitä suppeampaa suhdeverkostoa ja tiiviimpää sidoksellisuutta perheeseen. Sosiaalisisten suhdekertomusten pohjalta voidaan sanoa, että puhevammaisuus ilmiönä vastaa biopsykososiaalista ja konstruktionistista vammaisuuden mallia. Mallin mukaisesti puhevammaisuus pohjautuu elimelliseen vammaan, joka ilmenee erilaisissa suhteissa eri tavoin. Sidokset voivat olla tiiviitä ja kertojilleen merkityksellisiä, vaikka yhteistä kieltä ei ole. Vastaavasti verraten sujuva puhe ei yksinään takaa kertojalle merkityksellisen sosiaalisen suhdeverkoston olemassaoloa. Havainto tukee ajatusta siitä, että vuorovaikutus on suullista viestintää laajempi käsite, jolloin yksittäisen suhteen rakentamiseen vaikuttavat suullisten viestintätaitojen lisäksi vuorovaikutuskumppaneiden yhteinen toiminta, vuorovaikutusympäristö, koettu tai ulkopuolisen tahon määrittämä käytettävissä oleva aika, suhteen laatu ja historia sekä suhteiden verkostollinen uppoutuneisuus (embeddedness).
  • Saarinen, Amanda (2020)
    Aims and objectives. The field of speech and language therapy nowadays emphasizes the participation of client’s environments, such as the family. The importance of close environments is highlighted by e.g. the ecological systems theory, the ICF classification and the concept of zone of proximal development. To learn to communicate using a communication aid, a child needs modeling from a more competent interaction partner. Parents are usually essential interaction partners for their children, yet they need guidance and support to be able to model the use of the communication aid for their child. Previous research on parents’ experiences of guidance and support received for aided communication has been scarce. However, it has been noticed that inadequate support for parents can lead to abandonment of the communication aid. The objective of this study was to explore parents’ experiences of guidance and support on using their child’s communication aid. In addition, parents’ experiences of the challenges in the communication aid service delivery were studied, as well as experiences of their own role in the process. The study also examined parents’ views on how the support and guidance practices could be developed. Methods. The data of this study were gathered through semi-structured interviews. From seven different families, nine parents of children who were using a communication aid with an extensive vocabulary participated in the interviews. Data were analyzed using data driven content analysis. Results and conclusions. The results of this study indicated that parents receive guidance and support on using their child’s communication aid from several actors. The guidance and support were mainly considered insufficient in quantity but their content was mostly perceived adequate. Parents had positive experiences of e.g. guidance and support received from their child’s speech therapist, communication instruction, peer support, and technical support provided by the manufacturers and importers of communication aids. One of the main challenges parents had experienced in the process was that the communication aid was not always actively used in the daycare or school settings. Most of the parents had had an active, self-imposed role in the service delivery process, for example in finding services and information. Parents would develop the services provided to families e.g. by offering more guidance and support at the beginning of the process, by training professionals more comprehensively on augmentative and alternative communication, and by informing families more effectively of the services and support that are available. Based on the results of this study, the guidance and support on using a communication aid do not seem to be completely equally available for families, and parent’s own activeness appears to affect the access to services. Practices on providing guidance and support, informing parents of services and training professionals on aided communication may need to be improved and clarified. Parents’ experiences of the guidance and support vary individually, but the results of this study can help professionals develop their practices to support families.