Original Research

Children with Speech Difficulties: A survey of clinical practice in the Western Cape

Michelle Pascoe, Zinhle Maphalala, Aeysha Ebrahim, Daneil Hime, Bathobile Mdladla, Nerosha Mohamed, Mandy Skinner
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 57, No 1 | a51 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v57i1.51 | © 2010 Michelle Pascoe, Zinhle Maphalala, Aeysha Ebrahim, Daneil Hime, Bathobile Mdladla, Nerosha Mohamed, Mandy Skinner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2010 | Published: 10 December 2010

About the author(s)

Michelle Pascoe, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Zinhle Maphalala, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Aeysha Ebrahim, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Daneil Hime, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Bathobile Mdladla, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Nerosha Mohamed, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Mandy Skinner, Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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Abstract

This paper is based on a study by Joffe and Pring (2008) which investigated assessment and therapy methods used by Speech Language Therapists (SLTs) in the United Kingdom for children with phonological difficulties. Joffe and Pring reported SLTs’ most favoured assessments and therapy approaches in that context. Children with speech difficulties are likely to form a considerable part of SLT caseloads in South Africa, but the choice of assessments may not be so clearcut given the linguistic diversity of the region and the fact that few assessments have been developed specifically for the SA population. Linked to difficulties with assessment, selection of intervention approaches may also pose challenges. This study aimed to investigate the methods of assessment and intervention used by SLTs in the Western Cape when working with children with speech difficulties. A questionnaire was sent to SLTs working with pre and/ or primary school- aged children. Twenty-nine clinicians of varying experience responded. The majority of SLTs (89%) use informal assessment tools in combination with formal assessment. When using formal assessments, more than 50% of SLTs make modifications to better suit the population. Participants use a variety of intervention approaches, often in combination, and based on a child’s individual profile of difficulties and available resources. Forty-six percent of SLTs felt unsure about the selection of assessments and intervention for bi/multilingual children with speech difficulties. SLTs suggested that guidelines about accepted / typical speech development in the region would be helpful for their clinical practice. Clinical implications of the findings are discussed together with some suggestions for developing knowledge of children’s speech difficulties in the South African context.

Keywords

articulation, assessment, clinical practice, intervention, phonology, speech difficulties

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1. AAC services for multilingual populations: South African service provider perspectives
Kerstin M Tönsing, Karin van Niekerk, Georg I Schlünz, Ilana Wilken
Journal of Communication Disorders  vol: 73  first page: 62  year: 2018  
doi: 10.1016/j.jcomdis.2018.04.002