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A Comprehensive Scoping Review of Caregivers' Experiences With Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Their Collaboration With School Professionals.

PURPOSE: Parent engagement and involvement is essential for the successful implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems in the home. The purpose of the current study is to gain a deeper understanding of caregivers' experiences with AAC systems and their collaboration with school professionals during the implementation of AAC, which may have led to subsequent abandonment.

METHOD: This review intentionally included qualitative studies that employed semistructured interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic investigations that documented the experiences and perceptions of families implementing AAC at home. Electronic database search, ancestral search, and forward search procedures resulted in a total of 27 peer-reviewed studies portraying the voices of 319 caregivers.

RESULTS: An inductive analysis was conducted to record recurring themes into codes. The codes were thematically synthesized into three main themes: (a) the family unit, (b) the service providers, and (c) the AAC system.

CONCLUSIONS: The results emphasized the need for participatory practices of family involvement in co-constructing a collaborative AAC service provision. Future research directions should implement this practice and explore the outcomes of this process to validate its efficacy.

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