Childhood Development Initiative
The Childhood Development Initiative issued a recent report on November 15th on providing early speech and language services to children. The report discusses how young children from disadvantaged areas, who are given access to Speech & Language Therapy, will have a better start in their schools. The study was based on a piloted service where children in West Tallaght, Dublin, were provided with early intervention speech and language services. It took place between 2008 and 2011, helped 192 children, who were otherwise unlikely to have been noticed as having speech and language difficulties, referred to a therapist or supported through any other services in the area.
The study found that 18% of children who were provided with assistance had shown an improvement in their speech and language skills and had reached a normal standard. Boys (62.5%) had a much higher rate of referral for the service than girls (37.5%).
Chief executive of the CDI, Marian Quinn discussed how the pilot showed that it could be of great benefit to other disadvantaged areas in Ireland and how it should be introduced in schools. Quinn had this to say;
If speech and language development is not addressed before starting school it causes difficulties for literacy and learning. As well as the development of dedicated services for disadvantaged communities, we recommend that all early years practitioners, teachers and related professionals receive appropriate training in speech and language development.
The research also strongly highlighted the important role of parents. “Educating parents on the need for, and value of, speech and language therapy is vital to promoting attendance at speech and language services’
If you suspect that your young child has a speech and language delay, you can find further information here on our website , you can book a 30 minute consultation with our speech and language therapists to discuss your concerns and decide if a full assessment in necessary. Our Speech and Language Therapists can advise you on some strategies you can do at home to develop communication and language. It can often be helpful for parents to discuss their concerns and get advice which can give peace of mind without having to commit to a full assessment.
The Full Report from Child Development Initiative