Washington, K., Thomas-Stonell, N., McLeod, S., & Warr-Leeper, G., (2014, in press May). Outcomes and predictorsin preschoolers with speech-language and/or developmental mobility impairments. Child Language Teaching and Therapy.
Purpose: Describe communicative-participation outcomes measured by the Focus on the Outcomes of Communication Under Six (FOCUS©; Thomas-Stonell et al. 2013) for interventions provided by SLPs in different community settings for preschoolers with speech-language impairments (Sp/LI) with and without developmental mobility impairments (MI). The predictive relationships between communicative-participation and: a) functioning-and-disability, and b) contextual factors, was also investigated.Method: Sixty-one preschoolers with Sp/LI and their parents participated. Twenty-six preschoolers were identified with Sp/LI and received speech-language interventions (Group 1), 20 preschoolers were identified with Sp/LI and MI and received speech-language interventions (Group 2), and 15 preschoolers with Sp/LI awaiting intervention served as waitlist-controls (Group 3). Parents completed structured interviews about children’s communicative-participation outcomes using the FOCUS© at three time-points (pre-intervention; post-intervention; and 3-months post-intervention) with a speech-language pathologist.Results: Only Groups 1 and 2 experienced statistically and clinically meaningful communicative-participation outcomes over time as measured by the FOCUS©. Pre- to post-intervention communicative-participation was predicted by functioning-and-disability and contextual factors, initial social skills and intervention status, respectively. Post-intervention to 3-month post-intervention scores were also predicted by functioning-and-disability and contextual factors, risk status (Sp/LI only, Sp/LI+developmental MI) and intervention status, respectively.Conclusion: Significant and clinically meaningful changes in communicative-participation over time are associated with speech-language interventions for preschoolers with Sp/LI.