|dc.description.abstract||Since the 1990s, parent-professional partnership working has seen a shift
from a professionally driven model, where professionals had a power-over
relationship with parents, to an empowerment model, which allows power to
be created and developed through relationships. This move has enabled
families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to have their
priorities attended to when planning goals and intervention around Visual
Support Systems (VSSs). However, there is debate as to whether a
collective empowerment model of service delivery is being used effectively
when planning and implementing goals around VSSs. There is also lack of
information on the perceived benefits of using VSSs with children with ASD.
This study aimed to explore the parental perspective and negotiation of
responsibility with professionals when planning goals and service provision
around VSSs and to elicit parents’ views on the changes they perceived in
their children and their own abilities following the support received.
Adopting a qualitative, case study methodological strategy, a total of ten
participants participated in either a focus group or semi-structured interview.
Thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Three major themes emerged
from the data: parent-professional partnership, perceived changes in abilities
and skills, and experiences of using VSSs. Sub-themes are also presented,
including shared planning and decision-making, enablers and barriers of
using VSSs, and professionals’ qualities.
Implications for practice suggest: the need for regular discussions with
parents in relation to VSSs; further examination of service delivery; the need
for professionals to draw on parent-professional partnership literature; the
implementation of strategies to encourage parental engagement and prevent