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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Parent-centered language intervention : the effectiveness of two programs Parsons, Carmen Patrice


Speech-Language Pathologists have long recognized the importance of parental involvement in intervention with young communicatively impaired children. Over the years, a wide variety of parent-centred intervention programs and options have been proven effective with this population (Fey, 1986). Yet it remains unclear which specific variables are important in determining the success of such programs. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact, if any, of individualized support and feedback on the effectiveness of parent-centred language intervention. To answer this question, the families of 8 language-delayed children were enroled in two treatment programs, one which included an individualized component (Group II), and one which did not (Group I). Program efficacy was measured in terms of the progress shown by the children on language variables measured in pre- and post-test assessments. To compare the relative effects of the two treatment approaches, the progress demonstrated by children in Treatment Group I was compared to that shown by children in Group II. Results yielded two major findings. First, the children whose parents received individualized support and feedback (Group II) made greater gains on specific language goals than those whose parents received group instruction alone (Group I). It was concluded that an individualized component to parental training had a measurable positive effect on subsequent language development. Second, this effect was found to be most pronounced for children functioning at early stages of language development (i.e., demonstrating a productive vocabulary of 50 words or less).

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