Children's views of communication and speech-language pathology

TitleChildren's views of communication and speech-language pathology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsMerrick, R
Secondary AuthorsRoulstone, S
JournalInternational Journal Speech-Language Pathology
Number of Volumes4
Start Page281-290

Children have the right to express their views and influence decisions in matters that affect them. Yet decisions regarding speech-language pathology are often made on their behalf, and research into the perspectives of children who receive speech-language pathology intervention is currently limited. This paper reports a qualitative study which explored experiences of communication and of speech-language pathology from the perspectives of children with speech, language, and communication needs (SLCN). The aim was to explore their perspectives of communication, communication impairment, and assistance. Eleven school-children participated in the study, aged between 7–10 years. They were recruited through a speech-language pathology service in south west England, to include a range of ages and severity of difficulties. The study used open-ended interviews within which non-verbal activities such as drawing, taking photographs, and compiling a scrapbook were used to create a context for supported conversations. Findings were analysed according to the principles of grounded theory. Three ways of talking about communication emerged. These were in terms of impairment, learning, and behaviour. Findings offer insight into dialogue between children with SLCN and adults; the way communication is talked about has implications for children’s view of themselves, their skills, and their participation. 

Keywordslistening to children, Qualitative research, school-age children, speech-language pathology