Australian parents' experiences of speech generating device (SGD) service delivery

Kate Anderson, Susan Balandin, Roger Stancliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To explore parents' perceptions of existing support for families with a new speech generating device (SGD). Method: Six Australian parents of school-aged children who used an SGD participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences of SGD support. Data were explored and compared using narrative analysis. Results: Participants discussed barriers to service access, including long waiting lists, service exclusion policies and limited therapist expertise in SGD practice. They emphasized the value of ongoing service coordination for families. Finally, participants discussed the nature of role boundaries and responsibilities for parents vs. therapists in the intervention process and the impact that intervention approaches had on parent autonomy, empowerment and confidence. Conclusion: Having an SGD at home generates ongoing support needs, which had not been well met for some parents in our study. Results suggest that timely, well coordinated and family-centred support may enhance service experience for families with a new device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental Neurorehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the parents whose experiences and insights informed the findings of this study. The first author also wishes to thank the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Speech Pathology Australia for the financial scholarships that helped make this project possible.


  • Augmentative and alternative communication
  • Family-centred practice
  • Parents
  • Service delivery
  • Speech generating device


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