Making Decisions About Assistive Technology With Infants and ToddlersBy Dugan, Lauren M.; Campbell, Philippa H.; Wilcox, Jeanne; Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 25-32
Publication Date: Spring 2006
Study examined and contrasted beliefs and decision-making practices of early intervention providers concerning the use of assistive technology (AT) for infants and toddlers. Participants were 424 multidisciplinary early-intervention providers drawn from across the United States. Computer-assisted telephone interviews were conducted. Participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with reported belief statements representing 4 factors leading to the underutilization of AT for infants and toddlers: required skills, extra effort, giving up the natural way, and high cost. Participants also decided on the preferred intervention within 3 age groups, birth to 12 months, 13 to 24 months, and 25 to 36 months, for each of 6 skill areas: playing, dressing, mobility, bathing, communication, and eating/drinking. Intervention options were low-tech AT, high-tech AT, skill development, and “no concern.” Results showed that a majority of participants disagreed with the belief statements about AT with infants and toddlers; however, their choice of interventions showed that they did not generally select AT options until children were older than 24 months. Reported beliefs were therefore not associated with decision-making practices. The authors conclude that future research and training should focus on factors that are likely to influence the decisions professionals make in practice.
Published by: PRO-ED, Inc. (Website:http://www.proedinc.com)