Blog Archives

Guiding Principles and Clinical Applications for Speech-Language Pathology Practice in Early Intervention

Conclusion: It is critical that families of infants and toddlers who are at risk for, or who have been diagnosed with, communication disorders receive all necessary services and supports. EI services should be tailored to the individual and the changing needs, preferences, and priorities of each family. The earlier services are provided, the more likely is the child’s chance to develop effective communication.

from Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools

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Canonical syllable reduplication and variegation in infants with sensorineural hearing loss

Conclusions
Auditory sensitivity may contribute significantly to the distribution of reduplicated versus variegated syllable sequences.

from Revista de Logopedia, Foniatría y Audiología

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Early onset of family centred intervention predicts language outcomes in children with hearing loss

Conclusion
In managing intervention in children with hearing loss, time between diagnosis and onset of early intervention should be kept as short as possible. However, age of entry to early intervention explained only about 4% of the variance in language outcomes.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

A pilot study to evaluate a new early screening instrument for speech and language delays

The early identification of speech and language delays is a crucial first step in the effective prevention of developmental and socioemotional problems. Children’s early cognitive and language development has bearing on later development and readiness for learning and social competence. The Speech and Language Pathology Early Screening Instrument (SLPESI) was developed to identify possible speech and language delays in 18 to 21-month-old children. The purpose of the present study was to pilot the SLPESI and assess its ability to identify speech and language delays in children of this age group. A total of 252 children, aged 17-23 months, participated in the SLPESI. The test took less than five minutes to administer. Of the 252 children screened, 56 (22%) were recommended for assessment by a Speech and Language Pathologist (S-LP) based on the results of the questionnaire. Of those recommended, 34 came in for assessment and 31 (91%) were assessed and diagnosed with speech and language delays ranging from mild to severe. In order to examine the reliability of the SLPESI, 19 children who passed the initial screening procedure were brought in for a follow-up assessment. Of these, 18 had age-appropriate speech and language skills and one had a mild to moderate speech and language delay. The SLPESI proved to be a quick and effective screening instrument that may help predict speech and language delays in children 18-21 months of age.

from the Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology

Influences on parental evaluation of the content of early intervention following early identification of deafness: a study about parents’ preferences and satisfaction

Conclusion These findings underscore the importance of understanding how parents’ beliefs, values and perceived need impact on their experience of early intervention

from Child: Care, Health and Development

Randomized Controlled Trial of the Focus Parent Training for Toddlers with Autism: 1-Year Outcome

This randomized controlled trial compared results obtained after 12 months of nonintensive parent training plus care-as-usual and care-as-usual alone. The training focused on stimulating joint attention and language skills and was based on the intervention described by Drew et al. (Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatr 11:266–272, 2002). Seventy-five toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (65 autism, 10 PDD-NOS, mean age = 34.4 months, SD = 6.2) were enrolled. Analyses were conducted on a final sample of 67 children (lost to follow-up = 8). No significant intervention effects were found for any of the primary (language), secondary (global clinical improvement), or mediating (child engagement, early precursors of social communication, or parental skills) outcome variables, suggesting that the ‘Focus parent training’ was not of additional value to the more general care-as-usual.

from the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

‘It’s just so lovely to hear him talking’: Exploring the early-intervention expectations and experiences of parents

Little research to date explores parental experiences of early intervention. This study uses action research over a six-month period to explore the expectations and experiences of parents whose children attended an early-intervention group for speech/language impairments. This intervention programme was facilitated by a speech and language therapist and a psychologist and took place in the West of Ireland. Two focus groups were conducted with the parents of these children: one pre-intervention and one post-intervention. The focus groups were facilitated by two of the authors who were unfamiliar to the participants. Following each focus group, a summary of themes that emerged from the discussion was discussed with the clinical staff. Two changes were subsequently implemented: the timing of the group and clarification of parents’ roles. Thematic network analysis was conducted in accordance with the processes outlined by Attride-Stirling (2001). Three global themes of progress, uncertainty and dissatisfaction emerged from the analysis pre- and post-intervention. In addition the global theme of certainty emerged pre-therapy and the global theme of satisfaction emerged post-therapy. The findings of this study highlight the importance of both service users and clinical staff co-constructing a shared frame of reference so that they can engage more fully in the therapy process.

from Child Language Teaching and Therapy

Family Quality of Life Following Early Identification of Deafness

Implications: We recommend that service providers and early hearing detection and intervention program coordinators consider additional supports for family well-being following the early identification of deafness in children.

from Language, Speech and Hearing Services in Schools

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Effects of Universal Newborn Hearing Screening on an Early Intervention Program for Children with Hearing Loss, Birth to 3 Yr of Age

UNHS had a positive impact on caseload size, age of diagnosis, age of enrollment in EI, and age of hearing aid fit. The percentage of the caseload identified in the newborn period was about 25% before UNHS and over 80% after its implementation. After UNHS, the EI caseload included as many children with mild and moderate hearing loss as with severe and profound loss. By the last reporting year in the study (academic year 2005-2006) all children with profound hearing losses had cochlear implants.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Should We Use Telegraphic or Grammatical Input in the Early Stages of Language Development With Children Who Have Language Impairments? A Meta-Analysis of the Research and Expert Opinion

Conclusions: Empirical findings and expert views are summarized as ways of informing parents of the weak evidence base regarding the best type of input.

from the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

AAC technologies for young children with complex communication needs: State of the science and future research directions

Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies offer the potential to provide children who have complex communication needs with access to the magic and power of communication. This paper is intended to (a) summarize the research related to AAC technologies for young children who have complex communication needs; and (b) define priorities for future research to improve AAC technologies and interventions for children with complex communication needs. With the realization of improved AAC technologies, young children with complex communication needs will have better tools to maximize their development of communication, language, and literacy skills, and attain their full potential.

from AAC: Augmentative and Alternative Communication

One-year follow-up of the outcome of a randomized controlled trial of a home-based intervention programme for children with autism and developmental delay and their families

Results Fifty-four children completed the assessments 12 months after conclusion of the intervention. Compared with the control group, improvement in aspects of cognitive development in the children who received the extra intervention was sustained 1 year later (P= 0.007) while significant behavioural differences post intervention were not. Analyses of the data by the Reliable Change Index indicated improvement of clinical significance occurred in non-verbal areas. In contrast to the control group who deteriorated, language skills in the intervention group remained stable. Improvements were significantly associated with higher stress in the families.

Conclusion Improvements following the provision of a home-based programme to preschool children with developmental disabilities were sustained 1 year later. Children from highly stressed families appeared to benefit most, reinforcing the importance of involving families in early childhood intervention programmes.

from Child: Care, Health and Development

Demographics affecting parental expectations from early deaf intervention

This study investigated maternal reports on various characteristics of 50 Israeli deaf preschoolers, their parents, and families, and examined these characteristics’ links with mothers’ expectations from early intervention. Characteristics linked with maternal expectations from intervention included: mother’s pessimism, need for independence, ability to control her life, and receipt of practical assistance and formal and informal support; family’s degree of communication and interaction; children’s communication mode and age at onset of treatment; and additional deaf siblings in the family. A four-cluster model depicts the relations between mothers’, families’, and deaf children’s attributes and the mothers’ expectations, entailing recommendations for intervention planning. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

from Deafness and Education International

Demographics affecting parental expectations from early deaf intervention

Parent participation in rehabilitation programs for children with special needs requires program designers to accommodate each family’s particular needs and characteristics.
This study investigated maternal reports on various characteristics of 50 Israeli deaf preschoolers, their parents, and families, and examined these characteristics’ links with mothers’ expectations from early intervention. Characteristics linked with maternal expectations from intervention included: mother’s pessimism, need for independence, ability to control her life, and receipt of practical assistance and formal and informal support; family’s degree of communication and interaction; children’s communication mode and age at onset of treatment; and additional deaf siblings in the family. A four-cluster model depicts the relations between mothers’, families’, and deaf children’s attributes and the mothers’ expectations, entailing recommendations for intervention planning. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

from Deafness and Education International

Applications of Responsiveness to Intervention and the Speech-Language Pathologist in Elementary School Settings

This article addresses ways in which speech-language pathologists can play a proactive and substantive part in school-wide language and reading disability prevention and intervention efforts within the responsiveness to intervention framework. Within a collaborative working paradigm, specific student-focused instructional targets are presented in the areas of oral language, metacognition, and reading comprehension. A discussion of professional development focuses on enhancing teacher-student communication interaction, a critical yet often undervalued component of teacher training.

from Seminars in Speech and Language