July 20, 2015

Sound Start Study: CSU School of Teacher Education Brown Bag Seminar

I presented a Charles Sturt University School of Teacher Education Brown Bag Seminar on 20th July. The topic was "Sound Start Study: A large community-based study supporting preschoolers’ speech and pre-literacy skills". A podcast of the event is here:
Here is the abstract:
The Sound Start Study is a large randomized controlled trial funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP1030102545). The three aims are (1) to determine whether a software program, Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter® improves the speech and phonological awareness abilities of preschoolers with speech sound disorders when undertaken in early childhood education settings (2) to determine the relationship between children’s speech errors, pre-literacy, and phonological processing skills and (3) to explore which child- and family-related variables are positively or negatively associated with the rate of change in speech production and pre-literacy status.
The Sound Start Study is being conducted over three years (2013-2015) and there are six stages of data collection per year: (1) screening via parent and teacher questionnaire, (2) face-to-face screening, (3) comprehensive assessment, (4) intervention, (5) immediate post-intervention assessment and (6) delayed post intervention assessment. In the first two years there have been 853 4- to 5-year-old preschool children from 34 early childhood education settings who have participated in stage 1, 197 in stage 2, 95 in stage 3, 86 children have been randomised to either intervention/no intervention across 29 sites in stage 4, 82 children were assessed in stage 5 and 80 in stage 6.
During stage 1 parents and educators completed the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (Glascoe, 2000) documenting their level of concern regarding their children’s/ students’ development. The most common area of concern was children’s “talking and making speech sounds”. The eight other areas were less frequently reported:“behaviour”, “understanding what you say”, “learning preschool/school skills”, “getting along with others”, “learning to do things for him/herself”, “using hands and fingers”, and “using arms and legs”. Overall, more parents and educators were concerned about children’s speech and expressive language skills than any other area. The results underscore the need for services to support children’s speech and language and the importance of assessment and intervention to support children’s transition to school.
Some of the Sound Start Study team:
Elise Baker, Sarah Masso, Sharynne McLeod, Kate Crowe, Charlotte Howland