ERIC Number: EJ1118753
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Addressing Phonological Memory in Language Therapy with Clients Who Have Down Syndrome: Perspectives of Speech-Language Pathologists
Faught, Gayle G.; Conners, Frances A.; Barber, Angela B.; Price, Hannah R.
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v51 n6 p703-714 Nov-Dec 2016
Background: Phonological memory (PM) plays a significant role in language development but is impaired in individuals with Down syndrome (DS). Without formal recommendations on how to address PM limitations in clients with DS, it is possible speech-language pathologists (SLPs) find ways to do so in their practices. Aims: This study asked if and how SLPs address PM in language therapy with clients who have DS. It also asked about SLPs' opinions of the importance, practicality and difficulty of addressing PM in clients with DS. Methods & Procedures: SLPs participated in an online survey that asked if they address PM in clients with DS and, if so, how often and with which techniques. The survey also asked SLPs to rate their opinions of addressing PM in clients with DS with Likert scales. To contrast clients with DS, SLPs were asked about their practices and opinions with clients who have specific language impairment (SLI) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). SLPs were recruited through e-mails sent from state organizations and researchers. To compare SLPs' practices and opinions across client types, frequency analyses and analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were run. Outcomes & Results: In all, 290 SLPs from 28 states completed the survey. Nearly all SLPs were currently practising at the time data were collected, and all worked with at least one of the three client types. Findings indicated SLPs less often addressed PM and used less variety when addressing PM with clients who have DS compared with clients who have SLI or ASD. Further, SLPs considered it less important, less practical and more difficult to address PM in clients who have DS when compared with clients who have SLI, whereas a similar pattern was found with clients who have ASD. Conclusions & Implications: SLPs' opinions could be one reason they under-address PM with clients who have DS. Other reasons include there are no evidence-based practice (EBP) guidelines on this topic, and there is not enough familiarity with the DS phenotype among SLPs. Future research on ways to address PM in clients with DS successfully are essential so that EBP guidelines can be established and language therapy can be made more effective.
Descriptors: Down Syndrome, Speech Language Pathology, Speech Therapy, Memory, Phonology, Language Impairments, Allied Health Personnel, Attitude Measures, Online Surveys, Likert Scales, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Comparative Analysis, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: HD055345