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Conveying information to clients has a variety of purposes in professional-client interactions. It has a clear relationship to client access to participation in the decisions made about a presenting problem. Speech-language pathologists tend to assume they do this competently and to the advantage of their clients, but rarely has this assumption been examined. This article reports on analyses of the discourse that occurred in 12 initial sessions between speech pathologists and parents of children suspected of having a communication disorder. The parents were all from nondominant-culture backgrounds but linguistically competent in English. This study examines the information conveyed about the nature of the service, about what will happen within the assessment, explanation for the type of information requested or tested by the clinician, and information about assessment in the parent-clinician interaction practices and purposes-information that is old to clinicians but new to clients. The results showed that there was considerably less information given and that it was less competently and less systematically conveyed than expected. The implications of this for successful access are discussed.
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