An evaluation of a communicative intervention programme for hearing caregivers and their deaf children in a developing context
KeywordsSpeech and Language Pathology
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AbstractIncludes bibliographical references (p. 398-428).
This study set out to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention programme, in a developing context within an ecological framework that involves parents througp parent training adopting a parent-child interaction approach to intervention. This short-term, group intervention programme was developed specifically for hearing primary caregivers of profo,undly deaf signing children from low socio-economic backgrounds. A naturalistic approach to .intervention that followed a conversational model was applied. The programme was deSigned to enhance dyadic communicative interaction and to empower the caregivers as effective change agents, primarily through the programme components of communication skills and sign language, information and knowledge, educational advocacy and support. A broader perspective was adopted through addressing socio-economic factors and adapting to cultural differences. A team of people was involved in programme development, implementation and evaluation and included professionals from a range of disciplines, Deaf signing adults, and an English-isiXhosa interpreter. A shortterm longitudinal, before-and-after group design was used in programme implementation and evaluation. This design encompassed constructivist-interpretive and positivist/post-positivist research paradigms. The group of sixteen caregiver-child dyads reported on in this study was its own control, constituting a quasi-experimental design. An estimate of the effect of the programme was determined by analysing pre-post-intervention comparisons of videotaped dyadic interactions during play and storytelling, and the post-intervention evaluation questionnaire and focus group interview data. A coding system was compiled for the investigation of communication and sign language parameters that were not part of an occurrence of communication breakdown. Investigation of breakdown and repair as well as aspects of caregiver sign production constituted a separate analysis. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were Icarried out in the evaluation process and certain procedures were adopted to enhance the reliability and validity of the findings. It is believed that the aims I of this study and the specific goals/objectives of the programme were met. The analyses carried out indicated positive change and that this change was most likely due to the programme. In particular, it is believed that the style of caregiver-child interaction changed over the course of the intervention and so the programme was effective to the degree that it improved caregiver-child communicative interaction. More so, it is believed that the programme resulted in empowerment of the caregivers. Numerous aspects are believed to contribute towards the uniqueness of this study and of the communicative intervention programme. The numerous clinical and theoretical implications and implications for future research arising from this study are discussed in detail.