Community-based early intervention for language delay: a preliminary investigation
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science / Social Justice Research Centre
Background: A trial parent-focused early intervention (PFEI) programme for children with delayed language development is reported in which current research evidence was translated and applied within the constraints of available of clinical resources. The programme, based at a primary school, was run by a speech-language pathologist with speech-language pathology students. Aim: To investigate the changes in child language development and parent and child interactions following attendance at the PFEI. Methods & Procedures: Eighteen parents and their children attended six, weekly group sessions in which parents were provided with strategies to maximize language learning in everyday contexts. Pre- and post-programme assessments of vocabulary size and measures of parent-child interaction were collected. Outcome & Results: Parents and children significantly increased their communicative interactions from pre- to post-treatment. Children's expressive vocabulary size and language skills increased significantly. Large-effect sizes were observed. Conclusions & Implications: The positive outcomes of the intervention programme contribute to the evidence base of intervention strategies and forms of service delivery for children at risk of language delay.