“So, I told him to look for friends!” Barriers and protecting factors that may facilitate inclusion for children with Language Disorder in everyday social settings: cross-cultural qualitative interviews with parents

Kristine M. Jensen de López, Julie Feilberg, Sofia Baena, Rena Lyons, Sam Harding, Maja Kelić, Inge Sofie Klatte, Tina Clasina Mantel, Rama Novogrodsky, Thora S. Ulfsdottir, Krisztina Zajdó, Isabel R. Rodriguez-Ortiz

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Abstract

Purpose: Although researchers have explored parental perspectives on childhood speech and language disorders, this work has mostly been conducted in English-speaking countries. Little is known about parental experiences across countries. Participation in the COST Action IS1406 ‘Enhancing children's oral language skills across Europe and beyond’ provided an opportunity to conduct cross-cultural qualitative interviews. The aims were to explore how parents construe inclusion and/or exclusion of their child and how parents involve themselves in order to facilitate inclusion. Method: Parents from nine countries and with a child who had received services for speech-language disorder participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews. We used thematic analysis to analyze the data. Results: Two overarching themes were identified: ‘Language disabilities led to social exclusion’ and ‘Promoting pathways to social inclusion’. Two subthemes were identified Interpersonal relationships are important and Deliberate proactiveness as stepping stones for social inclusion. Conclusions: Across countries, parents report that their children's hidden disability causes misunderstandings that can lead to social exclusion and that they are important advocates for their children. It is important that the voices and experiences of parents of children with developmental disabilities are understood and acknowledged. Parents’ recommendations about how to support social inclusion need to be addressed at all levels of society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103963
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume115
ISSN0891-4222
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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