Original Research

A Transdisciplinary Conceptual Framework for the Early Identification of Risks for Communication Disorders in Young Children

Alta Kritzinger, Brenda Louw, Louis M. Rossettil
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 48, No 1 | a735 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v48i1.735 | © 2020 Alta Kritzinger, Brenda Louw, Louis M. Rossettil | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 April 2020 | Published: 31 December 2001

About the author(s)

Alta Kritzinger, Clinic for High Risk Babies, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Brenda Louw, Clinic for High Risk Babies, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Louis M. Rossettil, Centre for Communicative Disorders, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, United States

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Abstract

The early identification of infants with communication disorders or at risk for communication delays is still one of the biggest challenges of early communication intervention (ECI) and threatens to compromise its efficacy. Current approaches to the early identification of young children at risk for communication disorders involve strategies aimed at the identification of general developmental delays and may not be sufficiently sensitive and specific enough to detect the early stages of communication disorders. The risks for mortality and health are often identified early in life, but the concomitant risks for communication disorders in the same young children are frequently not identified at that opportune time. The current study involved a descriptive survey, describing the identification of communication disorders in 153  subjects, whose data was stored in and retrieved from a customized ECI database system. The findings revealed that the subjects were assessed at the average age of 18 months, but that identifications of risk conditions occurred prenatally, at birth, after the perinatal period and later in life. The time of identification related to the different communication disorders identified in the subjects and caregivers played a major role in detecting the first signs of communication disorders in their children. In order to provide a guideline for clinical practice, a transdisciplinary conceptual framework towards a coordinated effort for the early identification of risks for communication disorders in young children is proposed.

Keywords

Caregivers; communication disorders; early communication intervention; early identification; transdisciplinary conceptual framework

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