Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Trina M. Becker

Thesis Committee Member

Beth L. Bergstrom


The current investigation was a follow-up study to a research project conducted in summer 2012 by Fanale. The Fanale (2012) study looked at the effectiveness of parent training on parents' perspectives of AAC, as well as parents' use of specific communication facilitating strategies. The follow-up maintenance study investigated long-term effects of training on parent perceptions' and use of communication facilitating strategies. Through this project parents received additional training and different levels of support over four months in order to enhance the parents' abilities to utilize AAC in other environments, activities, and communication partners, as well as gather information on parents' preferred level of continued support. There were four sets of participants in the study (i.e., parents and children) that were divided into two groups. All of the children were nonverbal and had high technology communication devices. Parents were provided either e-mail only (EOC) or e-mail with homework (EHC) for five weeks with a withdrawal period and then the level of support for each group was switched for five additional weeks. Results indicated that most parents reported they believed EHC was more beneficial; however, objective data revealed that the benefit of the level of support was divided equally between the participants.