A longitudinal assessment of early childhood education with integrated speech therapy for children with significant language impairment in Germany

Dieter Ullrich, Katja Ullrich, Magret Marten

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    3 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background In Lower Saxony, Germany, pre-school children with language-and speech-deficits have the opportunity to access kindergartens with integrated language-/speech therapy prior to attending primary school, both regular or with integrated speech therapy. It is unknown whether these early childhood education treatments are helpful and effective.

    Aims To determine the value of early language-/speech therapy treatment in combination with support of personality traits during the pre-school and primary school period on the long-term social and academic development of children with significant language-/speech delay.

    Methods & Procedures We conducted prospective longitudinal case series, following the academic progress of 71 children after they had been discharged from a speech therapy kindergarten (STK) up to 19 years previously. Data collection included details on language/speech impairment, socio-economic factors, psycho-social skills and intelligence quotient. Results & Implications At the end of the follow-up period, 58 children were attending secondary schools: 44 (76%) children attended a regular secondary school, whereas 14 (24%) children were enrolled in a school with special needs education. The results suggest that self-awareness and intelligence quotient in this study cohort correlated with later academic achievements. Conclusion & Implications Kindergartens and primary schools which support curriculum-integrated language-/speech therapy and allow for different personality traits appear to improve longterm development and academic outcome of children with language-/speech impairment or delay.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)558-566
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
    Volume49
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2014

    Keywords

    • development
    • early childhood education
    • speech impairment
    • Speech therapy

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