Alternative service delivery models for families with a new speech generating device: Perspectives of parents and therapists

Kate Louise Anderson, Susan Balandin, Roger James Stancliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Research has revealed limitations in the provision of in-person services to families with a new speech generating device (SGD), both in Australia and overseas. Alternative service models such as parent training, peer support and telepractice may offer a solution, but their use with this population has not been researched to date. Method: Using interviews and focus groups, this study explored the experiences and opinions of 13 speech-language pathologists and seven parents regarding alternatives to in-person support and training for families with a new SGD. Data were analysed using grounded theory. Themes explored in this paper include the benefits and drawbacks of alternative service models as well as participants' suggestions for the optimal implementation of these approaches. Result: Participants confirmed the utility of alternative service models, particularly for rural/remote and underserviced clients. Benefits of these models included reduced travel time for families and therapists, as well as enhanced information access, support and advocacy for parents. Conclusion: Participants viewed the provision of ongoing professional support to families as critical, regardless of service modality. Additional issues arising from this study include the need for development of organizational policies, resources and training infrastructure to support the implementation of these alternative service models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the parents and SLPs who generously shared their experiences and insights and the service providers who assisted in co-ordinating this project.The first author also thanks the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Speech Pathology Australia, whose financial scholarships made this project possible.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited.


  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Service delivery
  • Telepractice


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