Therapists’ perspectives: supporting children to use switches and technology for accessing their environment, leisure, and communication

Fiona Beauchamp, Helen Bourke-Taylor, Ted Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Many children with cerebral palsy learn to use technology to access their environments and communicate; however, minimal research informs practice. Methods: A descriptive qualitative study with purposive sampling recruited 10 therapists (occupational, speech, and physiotherapists) from one early intervention service. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and were analyzed thematically. Results: Four themes were derived: development of successful movement; positioning and equipment; access methodology and processes; and learning to communicate (“learning nonelectronic communication in parallel with electronic communication”). Conclusion: Practitioners described a multitude of skills and expertise to facilitate switch use in play and electronic communication devices in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-147
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • AAC
  • Cerebral palsy
  • speech generating device
  • switching
  • technology

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