Parkinson's disease and aided AAC: some evidence from practice.
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Armstrong, L., Jans, D. & MacDonald, A. (2000) Parkinson's disease and aided AAC: some evidence from practice., International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders., vol. 35, , pp. 377-389,
Clinical observation that people with Parkinson's disease (PD) seem to have diVerent training needs from other adult client-groups in developing eVective use of aided augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) was the catalyst for this study. There is little good-quality research evidence available on the eVectiveness (or lack of eVectiveness) of aided AAC use by those with PD. One of the main aims of this preliminary study, therefore, was to elicit the experiences and attitudes of speech and language therapists in this speci_ c area of their practice as the basis for future eYcacy research and clinical practice. Thirty speech and language therapists were questioned about their experience of introducing low- and high-tech AAC devices to this client-group. Of particular interest was the discovery of the factors identi_ ed by the therapists as in_ uencing their introduction of aided AAC to someone with PD and aVecting implementation and successful use. The factors reported were both diseasespeci _ c (e.g. motor problems) and more general factors (e.g. carer support) relevant to the process of introducing aided AAC to other adult client-groups. Implications for future research and practice are discussed. Some research questions are posed and the inclusion of people with PD and their carers in practice development is promoted.