Communication and assessment apps for use with children and young people – recording

Matt Kempen
Marketing Manager for ACAMH

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This free webinar was organised by ACAMH’s Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Special Interest Group, and led by Dr. David Glasgow of Child and Family Training.

Slides from the sessions

List of references

About the webinar

Communicating with children regarding thoughts, feelings, symptoms and wishes, can be straightforward. However, it is often difficult – perhaps because the child is young, or the issues to be discussed are complex or distressing.

This seminar presented the use of apps to aid communication to enhance rapport, structure and optimise communication and also accurately record and store results. Even very young children feel very comfortable using touch-based devices and often prefer them to traditional drawing or paper and pencil-based activities.

The apps are inspired by years of experiences of direct work with children, as well as the development and use of the In My Shoes child interview, assessment tool, an effective , research based approach. The advantages of using apps to promote communication includes the fact that most existing communication tools and methods are rather cumbersome or difficult to use, a range of physical tools and materials like paper, pens, pencils, erasers, and workbooks has to be managed. New tablet and touchscreen technology allow images, text and drawing to be combined in extremely flexible and creative ways. A tablet-based app is something which can be easily introduced into a session wherever it may be. It can almost as easily be put away when it has achieved its goal – or attention can be switched to another app. As long as the tablet is available, everything required is almost instantly accessible. and the eraser is never lost, the pens never run dry, and no one ever runs out of paper!

The ultimate goal of professionals working with children is often to talk about something personal & sensitive, or even distressing or painful. With traditional conversational approaches to exploring such issues, it is very often hard to switch from rapport-building to addressing the critical issue. Having a framework for doing so, is invaluable. Both qualitative and quantitative data generated during an assessment can be quickly and easily captured for later incorporation into professional reports or records. Existing skills are not replaced or lost; they are actually enhanced by the ready availability of a variety of ways of exploring critical issues.

Calam, R.M., Cox, A.D., Glasgow, D.V., Jimmieson, P. and Groth Larsen, S. (2000) ‘Assessment and therapy with children: can computers help?’ Child Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, 5(3): 329–343.

About the Speakers

Dr. David Glasgow
David is a clinical psychologist who has worked for over 30 years in clinical and forensic settings with offenders and victims of offences. His experience includes high, medium and low secure NHS settings, as well as community forensic services. Whilst a lecturer at Liverpool University he developed and taught the SAGE special needs forensic interviewing system. He was also a founding co-director of the Forensic Behavioural Studies programme at Liverpool University. Subsequently he was a course director of the Child Forensic Studies programme at Leeds University and also the Forensic Issues programme at the (now) University of Cumbria. He has worked as an expert witness in criminal and civil proceedings for over 25 years, often in complex, highly contested or high profile cases. David now works for an independent forensic practice evaluating and also undertaking investigative interviews of children and adults with a learning disability.

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