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Preliminary feasibility and effectiveness of a novel community language intervention for pre-school children in the UK

Botting, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-1082-9501, Spicer-Cain, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-0428-770X, Buckley, B. , Mercado, E., Sharif, K., Wood, L., Flynn, J. & Reeves, L. (2024). Preliminary feasibility and effectiveness of a novel community language intervention for pre-school children in the UK. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 59(1), pp. 276-292. doi: 10.1111/1460-6984.12943


Background: Very young children from lower Socio Economic Status (SES) backgrounds often show poorer language development. Whilst there have been attempts to provide early intervention programmes, these sometimes miss the most disadvantaged groups.
Aims: This report presents preliminary feasibility and effectiveness data for a novel language intervention designed for parents of toddlers in the UK.
Methods and procedures: In total, 43 UK families of 2-4-year-olds were recruited to the study, half of whom completed an 8-week course (Tots Talking) focussed on parent interaction, and half of whom acted as wait-list controls.
Results and outcomes: Results suggest that such programmes are feasible for families with 86% staying in the intervention. In addition, greater changes in underlying communication skills such as joint attention and gesture were evident compared to wait-list controls.
Conclusions and implications: We conclude that pre-verbal skills may be more important to measure as initial outcomes than language or vocabulary change in this population.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Authors. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Publisher Keywords: Joint Attention; Parents; Intervention; Pre-school
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Language & Communication Science
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