Clinical Psychology 11 (2018), 1-2, 21-38

Original scientific paper

Group-Based Direct and Indirect Approaches to Language Therapy for Children With Developmental Language Disorder: a Pre-Experimental Study

Ana Matić - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Jelena Kuvač Kraljević - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Lana Kologranić Belić - Polyclinic for the Rehabilitation of Listening and Speech SUVAG, Zagreb
Marina  Olujić Tomazin - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb

Fulltext (english, pages 21-38).pdf

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is among the most frequent communication disorders in early childhood. It affects the quality of the child’s academic and social life. Speech-language therapy to counter this impairment is usually individual and based on a direct approach with the therapist. New approaches begin to emerge, involving group settings, as well as indirect involvement of a parent who is constantly monitored and supervised by the therapist. Group and indirect therapies are infrequently used in Croatia, even though their effectiveness is well demonstrated worldwide. The aims of the current study were: 1) to examine whether two approaches to language therapy: group-based direct and indirect at home, can foster early literacy in children with DLD, and 2) to gain insight into parental perception of group therapy and how they perceived its potential influence on their children’s lives. It has a pre-experimental design and thus presents the first step towards an evidence-based effectiveness study. Eight children and their parents participated in the programme. Children’s language progress was measured using language tests before and after the programme, and parents’ perception of the therapy was evaluated using a post-programme questionnaire. The results suggest that group-based direct and indirect approaches can foster early literacy in preschool children with DLD. Parental perception of the therapy was positive; they expressed strong trust in the therapy and reported finding it useful for their children. The outcomes of the present pre-experimental study further corroborate positive effects of carefully planned therapies and serve as a step forward in conducting effectiveness studies in order to establish evidence-based practices in Croatia.

developmental language disorder, pre-experimental study, group language therapy, direct and indirect approaches, early literacy

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