Luck, our journey, doing the best we could : The experiences of speech-language pathologists, parents, and teachers in service delivery for school-aged children

Journal article


Ohtaras, Dimitra, McCormack, Jane and Dent, Lisa. (2022). Luck, our journey, doing the best we could : The experiences of speech-language pathologists, parents, and teachers in service delivery for school-aged children. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 24(3), pp. 320-329. https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2022.2069859
AuthorsOhtaras, Dimitra, McCormack, Jane and Dent, Lisa
Abstract

Purpose: Speech-language pathology intervention is effective in supporting the needs of school-aged children with speech and language difficulties, particularly when implemented collaboratively among speech-language pathologists (SLPs), parents, and teachers. However, such intervention is not always accessible, affordable, or timely. The present study explored the experiences of SLPs, parents, and teachers with regard to service delivery for school-aged children as recorded in submissions to the Senate Inquiry into speech-language pathology services in Australia almost 10 years ago and related those experiences to current service provision.

Method: In 2013, the Australian Government Senate formed a committee for inquiry and report into the prevalence of speech, language, and communication disorders and speech-language pathology services in Australia. The current study used a phenomenological approach to analyse submissions from SLPs (n = 9), parents (n = 8), and teachers (n = 3) of primary school-aged children who had submitted their experiences of speech-language pathology intervention.

Result: Themes that emerged from the submissions showed that participants’ experiences of service delivery were associated with “luck”, “our journey”, and “doing the best we could”. Participants described their experiences as “luck” when they were able to access services that they knew others could not; they described their experiences as a “journey” when they reflected on the process of seeking, accessing, and obtaining services which was often quite circuitous; and they described their experience as “doing the best we could” when they persisted in seeking or providing services, despite frustration in not fulfilling their perceived duty of care.

Conclusion: The experiences of SLPs, parents and teachers highlight the importance of listening to the stories of these groups to understand the strengths and challenges of service delivery for school-aged children and the need for timely, targeted, and evidence-based care. The experiences of service delivery described by participants in the Senate Inquiry are still common today and thus the need to address the issues they raised remains.

Keywordsservice delivery; education; collaboration; school-aged children; speech and language difficulties
Year2022
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Journal citation24 (3), pp. 320-329
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN1754-9507
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17549507.2022.2069859
PubMed ID35522007
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85132630566
Page range320-329
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online06 May 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Jul 2023
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