Beliefs, Attitudes And Practices Of Speech and Language Therapists Regarding Family Participation in Therapy

Ahsen Erim Şaziye Seçkin Yılmaz

Some of the intervention programs implemented within speech and language therapies are carried out as clinician- centered and some are family-centered. There are many family-centered therapy approaches that speech and language therapists (SLPs) can prefer in disorders such as language disorders, stuttering, speech sound disorders and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It is important to determine the beliefs, attitudes and practices of family participation in the therapy process of SLPs in terms of detecting possible deficiencies in clinical practices. Purpose: In this regard, the purpose of this study was to examine the beliefs, attitutes and practices of SLPs working with children in early childhood in Turkey regarding family-centered practices. Method: Participants, were 100 SLPs from different cities of Turkey. Data was collected via a survey which was prepared by the researchers by reviewing the relevant literature. The survey consists of 28 question items in total. The survey, which was developed for the purpose of collecting data in this research, was transformed into online format and delivered to SLPs. SPSS 21 package program was used for the analysis of the data, and the frequency and percentage values of the findings were calculated. Content analysis was also performed for the open-ended question in the survey. Results: In the part of the survey evaluating the practices for family participation in the therapy process, it was observed that the majority of the participants informed the families about the practices performed in therapy after the therapy (%96). When the items of the survey evaluating family-centered approaches used by SLPs were examined, most of the participants (%60) stated that they mostly preferred family-centered approaches while working with children with delayed speech. In addition, the preference rate of family-centered approaches in cases of stuttering and developmental language disorder / ASD was %23 and %15 respectively. It was observed that a very small portion of the participants preferred family-centered approaches while working with speech sound disorders (1%) and pediatric voice disorders (1%). Also in the survey in which the situations that negatively affect family participation in the therapy process were questioned, the majority of the participants (71%) stated that they thought that families bringing their children to therapy would be sufficient for their children. Conclusion: The results of this study show that SLPs participating in this study have generally positive attitudes towards family centered practices. More specifically, it was seen that participants are clinician-centered, especially in the planning phase of the therapy. On the other hand, they adopt a family-centered approach to support therapy practices at home. Also, it has been determined that SLPs have a lack of knowledge about family-centered therapy methods. It is recommended that the content of the speech and langauge therapy undergraduate program be enriched with family-centered therapy approaches. In addition, it is anticipated that pre-service and in-service training programs to be organized will be beneficial for SLPs. Also, it would be appropriate to consider family- centered practices through the triangle. In other words, there is the therapist in one corner of the triangle, the parents of the child in another corner and the child in the other corner. In this research, family centered therapy process has been discussed in terms of the perspective of SLPs. In future studies, it is thought that examining the views of families and children will be beneficial in terms of organizing the content of family centered practices.


early childhood, family education, family centered services, family centered practices, intervention, speech and language therapy


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