It frequently is suggested that parents underutilize assistive technology (AT) for their young children with disabilities despite wide spread recommended practices for providing optimal AT interventions (i.e., devices and services). However, neither parent perspectives of AT underutilization or families' experiences with AT have been reported in the literature. The purpose of this article is to provide information about families' experiences with AT for their infants and toddlers who are receiving early intervention services. Computer assisted telephone interviews were conducted with a sample of 924 parents or other family members of children receiving Part C early intervention services. Participants were asked about various aspects of their experiences with AT, including devices, success rates, and resources. Results indicate that for the most part, families identifying, using, and paying for various devices do so without professional assistance. Further, most devices they have tried, or are trying, are perceived as having limited success. When these results are considered with regard to previous research addressing provider perspectives in relation to families, substantive differences are apparent. To maximize early intervention outcomes using AT in early intervention, families may benefit from increased collaboration with their early intervention providers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computer Science Applications