A recent study that was reported in the American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (August 2011) was conducted by a team from Vanderbilt University in Nashville. They looked at how effective early intervention services were when parents were participating and helping to conduct the therapy. This team reviewed 18 studies conducted previously and analyzed the results. All of the children in the studies were between the ages of 18 months and 60 months.
The Vanderbilt team found that when parents implemented language interventions, there was substantial language growth in young children. They encouraged parents to be taught both general and specific strategies for language support. The Vanderbilt team also found that when parents received training, they used more complex language than parents who did not receive training. The study also reported that there were gains in both receptive language (what a child understands) and expressive language (what a child says).
So what does that mean for you and your child? If your child is receiving early intervention services, get involved with therapy! If your child’s therapist has been trying to engage you in therapy, take his or her invitation and learn. If your child’s therapist has not offered to include you in therapy, ask to be included so that you can learn strategies to help your child make the most gains possible. Therapy is most effective when everyone is involved!
Reference for the article:
Roberts, M.Y. & Kaiser, A.P. (2011). The Effectiveness of Parent-Implemented Language Interventions: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 20, 180-199.
Jennifer M. Adams, MA, CCC-SLP