Honors Theses

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Susan Loveall-Hague

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Parents play an important role in the success of a child’s language development. Further, research on early intervention has documented that parents can successfully learn and implement at-home therapy that results in positive language development of children with developmental disabilities. While the effectiveness of early intervention has been well-documented, there is little research exploring parents’ perspectives on early intervention and their involvement in therapy at home. The purpose of this study is to fill that gap by examining: 1) how informed and involved parents report feeling regarding their child’s therapy, 2) how parents perceive their relationship with their child’s speech-language pathologist (SLP), including their interactions and discussions with their child’s SLP about their child’s therapy and their role in their child’s therapy, 3) how effective they feel they are in implementing therapy at home, 4) any barriers they face when implementing therapy at home, and 5) what benefits they see in doing therapy at home with their child. The study included semi-structured interviews of nine parents of young children who received early intervention services. The interviews lasted 30-70 minutes. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded to identify major themes using analytic induction techniques. Parents expressed the importance of the communication between the parent and their child’s SLP. They also spoke about their implementation of therapy at home and some barriers they face that keep them from being able to implement therapy at home. Lastly, they gave some advice for SLPs and spoke of the impact therapy has had on their child and family.

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