McLeod, S., Crowe, K., McCormack, J., White, P., Wren, Y., Baker, E., Masso, S., Roulstone, S. (2017, in press). Preschool children’s communication, motor and social development: What concerns parents and educators? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
Here is the abstract:
Purpose: During early childhood it is important to identify which children require intervention before they face the increased demands of school. This study aimed to: (1) compare parents’ and educators’ concerns, (2) examine inter-rater reliability between parents’ and educators’ concerns, and (3) determine the group difference between level of concern and children’s performance on clinical testing.
Method: Parents and educators of 1,205 4- to 5-year-old children in the Sound Start Study completed the Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status. Children whose parents/educators were concerned about speech and language underwent direct assessment measuring speech accuracy (n = 275), receptive vocabulary (n=131), and language (n=274).
Result: More parents/educators were concerned about children’s speech and expressive language, than behaviour, social-emotional, school readiness, receptive language, self-help, fine motor, and gross motor skills. Parents’ and educators’ responses were significantly correlated (except gross motor)Parents’ and educators’ level of concern about expressive speech and language was significantly correlated with speech accuracy on direct assessment. Educators’ level of concern was significantly correlated with a screening measure of language. Scores on a test of receptive vocabulary significantly differed between those with concern and those without.
Conclusion: Children’s communication skills concerned more parents and educators than other aspects of development and these concerns generally aligned with clinical testing.