Parents' perspectives on the professional-child relationship and children's functional communication following speech-language intervention

Karla N. Washington, Nancy Thomas-Stonell, Sharynne McLeod, Genese Warr-Leeper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
400 Downloads (Pure)


Speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) use family-centred practices to implement intervention. Thus, consideration of family-based outcomes is encouraged. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health ' Children and Youth version (ICF-CY) framework supports S-LPs' consideration of these outcomes (e.g., parental perspectives on children's Activities and Participation and Environmental Factors associated with speech-language intervention).Purpose. To explore parents' perspectives about: (a) the child-S-LP relationship (Environmental Factors) and (b) children's functional communication (Activities and Participation)Method. Sixty-seven parents of preschoolers with communication disorders participated in this study. All 67 parents completed pre-intervention and post-intervention structured interviews about their children's functional communication. Parents of preschoolers who received intervention (n = 52) provided ratings and comments regarding the child-S-LP relationship established during intervention with the clinician (n = 7). Themes were identified using content analysis. Fifteen children were waitlist controls and did not receive intervention.Results. Parents of preschoolers who received intervention reported significantly greater gains in children's functional communication compared to those who did not.Most parents (94%) provided positive/very-positive perspectives about the child-S-LP relationship. The child-S-LP rapport and the S-LPs' professional competence were common themes identified in parents' perspectives.Conclusion: (a) Significant gains in preschool children's functional communication occurred following speech and language intervention and (b) factors such as the rapport established between the child and the S-LP as well as the S-LPs' professionalism were considered by parents to be important factors for creating a positive child-S-LP relationship during speech and language intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-233
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Grant Number

  • FT0990588


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