Development and delivery of an educational intervention that increased teachers’ awareness, knowledge, and actions related to Developmental Language Disorder(DLD) /
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Developmental language disorder (DLD)is a difficulty learning, understanding, and using spoken language with lifelong implications for education and well-being. It is an under-identified disorder, diagnosed in school age children. Teachers are key to early identification, referral to speech and language therapy (SLT), and better outcomes. This study aimed to co-develop an educational intervention to increase teachers’ awareness, knowledge, and actions related to DLD. Method: It was undertaken within Delivering Equality in Schools (DEIS)primary schools in Ireland. In phase I, children with DLD aged 9-12years (n=7), and teachers (n=7) attended interviews/focus groups to explore their experiences of DLD. In phase II, an educational intervention was developed and deliveredt o teachers. Surveys to assess awareness, knowledge, and actions were completed pre-intervention(n=102), post-intervention(n=78),and 2-3monthspost-intervention (n=37).Referrals to SLT were monitored 3-monthspre-and post-intervention. Results:DLD ‘red-flags’,and facilitators and barriersto functioningwere identifiedand included inthe intervention. The interventionsignificantlyincreasedteachers’ awareness(n=71, p<0.05), knowledge(n=71, p<0.001), andconfidence (n=71, p<0.001) post-intervention. Teachers reported an increaseduse of facilitative communicative strategies 2-3 months post-intervention.There was no significant increase in the number of referrals made to SLT(p=0.732), however teachers identifiedsignificantly more children aspossiblyhaving DLD than the number of referrals they reportedly made to SLT2-3 months post-intervention(n=37, p<0.001).Conclusion: The co-produced intervention increasedteachers’ awareness, knowledge, and some actions supporting them in identifying and teachingchildren with DLD. Further research is required on increasing SLT referrals.
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