2. Effectiveness of DAS Speech-Language Therapy: A controlled evaluation

Lee Er Ker1*, Ho Shuet Lian1, Sharon Reutens1 & Elizabeth Lim Yien Yien1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

 

Abstract

 

Background: School-age children enrolled in the DAS speech-language therapy programme are often diagnosed with both dyslexia and language disorder. The current study shows the positive impact of language therapy on these children as it is practised by speech-language therapists (SLTs) at DAS.

 

Methods: The study involved 23 children in mainstream education aged 5 to 12 who were diagnosed with dyslexia and subsequently with a mild-severe language disorder at the start of the study. A small-scale quasi-experimental design with a control group was used without random assignment of participants to either an intervention condition (n=11), or a control condition (n=12). The intervention group underwent language therapy directly delivered by DAS SLTs in a group setting (1 SLT: 2-3 children) once a week, an hour per session, for at least a term (i.e. ≥ 8 sessions). Participants in the control group matched those in the intervention group overall on age and level of severity but did not receive any speech-language therapy for the duration of the study. All participants in both groups received the same level of literacy support from educational therapists in the curriculum-based DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP) whilst the study was on-going.

 

Results: Participants in the intervention group showed performance improvements compared to those in the control group in the primary outcome measures of different language skills as measured by the core language subtests of CELF®–4UK, a standardised assessment tool used to assess the presence of a language disorder or delay in children aged 5-21. Statistically, significant improvements were found in both the raw and scaled scores of the Formulated Sentences subtest. In addition, positive effect sizes ranging from small to large were observed for other subtests.

 

Conclusions: The current small scale controlled intervention study targeting the range of subskills addressed by CELF®–4UK identified the significant impact of the approach adopted by SLTs at DAS, with strong effect sizes. The findings support the use of small-group intervention as effective for children with a range of severity in language disorders.

 

Keywords:           speech-language therapy, SLT, DAS, language disorder, group therapy, language intervention.

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2. Effectiveness of DAS Speech-Language Therapy: A controlled evaluation
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