The book employs a creative synthesis of engagement (personal involvement) and participation (exchanges) to describe meaning-making and social closeness between partners. This process allows for the acknowledgment of different levels of shared meaning and outlines a novel approach to assessment and intervention. The book also describes the importance of integrating relational (interaction-oriented) as well as instrumental (goal-oriented) communication functions as essential in maintaining on-going relationships.
Most resources in AAC tend to emphasize strategies for enhancing participation, rather than strategies associated with the development of engagement ("being with") to enhance communication between communication partners. In contrast, this text uses interactions between users of AAC and their communication partners as a basis to explore the creative synthesis between engagement and participation to provide clinical guidelines for assessment and intervention in both interpersonal and classroom contexts.
Key features:A novel theoretical approach focused on engagement and participation as core components in AAC interventionEmphasis on empathic listening skills of both communication partner and user of AAC strategies to facilitate engagement (emotional resonance) between themGuidance for teachers on the benefits of a meaning-based approach to communication in the classroomApplication of empathic listening strategies to people with dementia to address an increasing need for care of patients with Alzheimer disease by caregivers and family membersIntegration of social media and face-to-face interactions as central to developing relationships in AAC interactions