DIT Research shows early intervention key to success of speech and language therapy

10 December 2012: DIT’s Centre for Social and Education Research (CSER) recently launched a report on the Speech and Language Therapy Service of Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative.  The report was officially launched by Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, commentator and RTE presenter in the Mansion House.

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Mícheál Ó'Muircheartaigh, (RTE presenter and commentator) with children from Tallaght West at the launch of the CSER report on CDI's Speech and Language Therapy Service.

The report entitled, “Evaluation of the Speech and Language Therapy Service of Tallaght West Childhood Development Initiative” was written by Professor Nóirín Hayes, Siobhán Keegan and Eimear Goulding, all of the CSER, DIT. The research was funded by the Office of the Minster for Children and Youth Affairs and Atlantic Philanthropies. The CDI Speech and Language Therapy Service aimed to assess children in specialised early years and primary school programmes, and intervene with regard to their speech and language development, where required. It also aimed to support Early Years practitioners, teachers and parents in these programmes, and to promote awareness of speech and language, generally.

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The results of this evaluation suggest that the service succeeded in receiving referrals, assessing and intervening with almost two hundred children in Tallaght West at an age when they were extremely unlikely to have been seen by any other local service and without waiting for a long period of time. As a result, at least 18 per cent of children who received therapy no longer required speech and language therapy after intervention, meaning that a smooth transition to school and positive longer life outcomes are likely (Conti-Ramsden et al, 2001; Clegg et al, 1999; Gallagher et al, 2000; Leitao and Fletcher, 2004; Knox, 2002; Snowling et al, 2001). Thirty per cent of children were still receiving therapy at the time of report writing; therefore, they too may transition to school without the need for further speech and language intervention. In addition, 25 per cent of children in therapy were referred to other allied health services for help with additional needs which supports the model of delivery with regard to promotion of access to health services. If it is considered that these children came to the attention of allied health services at an earlier than usual age, this means an increased likelihood that they will receive intervention before their needs have compounded into life-long problems.

To download a copy of the report, click here.

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Mícheál Ó'Muircheartaigh, (RTE presenter and commentator) with children from Tallaght West at the launch of the CSER report on CDI's Speech and Language Therapy Service

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Mícheál Ó'Muircheartaigh, (RTE presenter and commentator) with children from Tallaght West at the launch of the CSER report on CDI's Speech and Language Therapy Service

 

 

 

 

 

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