Intense daily therapy helps kids overcome literacy problemsJuly 24th, 2009 - 12:13 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, July 24 (IANS) Children grappling with language and literacy problems are better off with intense daily therapy rather than extended therapy, according to a recent study.
The study, led by Ron Gillam, professor at Curtin University of Technology (CUT), is
based on children aged six to nine with primary language disorders, but no problems in cognition or hearing.
“The group of kids in the study had 100 minutes of therapy each day, over a period of six weeks. We followed their progress for six months,” Gillam said.
“Our results proved six times more successful than a different study in which children
received therapy twice a week for 20 minutes each day, over a two-year period.”
Gillam reviewed studies in which speech-language pathologists worked with teachers in a classroom setting.
“When I conducted a systematic review of existing research, classroom based instruction on vocabulary where speech pathologists were working with regular teachers, yielded very successful results,” he said.
“Using simple demonstrations, picture cues or graphic organisers, summarisation techniques, allowing multiple opportunities to respond and repeat, and asking questions at various levels of complexity, are techniques that have proven to be most effective in improving language skills,” he said.
“Most importantly, if you are doing this on an intense daily schedule with the help of a speech pathologist in a classroom setting, you will see a great improvement in the child’s literacy skills,” Gillam added.
He said children with language impairment were at risk of social and academic problems and, later in life, vocational problems.
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