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Title: Children's views and speech and language therapy
Author: Merrick, Rosalind
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 2334
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2009
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Children have a right to participate in decisions that affect them, yet regarding speech and language therapy these are often made on their behalf. There is outstanding need for research with (rather than on) the children whom we judge to have communication difficulties. The aim of this study was to explore children's experiences of communication and of speech and language therapy, in order to develop suitable methods of researching these children's views, and to identify problems, skills and help from children's perspectives. Forty four mainstream schoolchildren participated in the study, aged between 6 and 11 years. Eleven of the children were recruited purposively through the speech and language therapy service, to include a range of ages and severity of difficulties. Open-ended interviews were carried out with the children in groups and, in the case of the speech and language therapy service users, individually. Verbal conversation was supported by non-verbal activity such as drawing, taking photographs and compiling a scrapbook. Data were audio and video recorded and transcribed. Findings were analysed qualitatively according to the principles of grounded theory. These children were willing and able to talk about communication, difficulties and help. They showed that they could hold multiple identities, talking about themselves and others as impaired and at the same time as learners, as competent individuals, as co-operative group members and as agents in their own right. The study revealed how current notions of participation need to go beyond listening to children, to take into account different types of discourse and their impact on children's view of themselves, their skills and their role in therapy. Findings have implications for speech and language therapy practice and for further research with children with communication difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of the West of England
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available