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Working together?: the practice of educational psychologists and speech and language therapists with children with specific speech and language difficulties

Palikara, Olympia; Lindsay, Geoff; Cullen, Mairi Ann; Dockrell, Julie; (2007) Working together?: the practice of educational psychologists and speech and language therapists with children with specific speech and language difficulties. Educational and Child Psychology , 24 pp. 77-88. Green open access

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Abstract

Meeting the needs of children with specific speech and language difficulties (SSLD) has recently been an area of public policy concern, because of the difficulties in securing speech and language therapy for children with special educational needs (SEN). There is a clear need for education and health service staff working together to support children with speech and language difficulties. The present research involved case studies of six English local authorities (LAs), along with the eight speech and language therapy services provided by the relevant local health trust. They were chosen as examples of good practice in education and health services working together, on the basis of information provided during a previous national study. The purpose of the research was to explore the collaborative practice of educational psychologists (EPs) and speech and language therapists (SLTs) with respect to the education of children with SSLD. This paper reports the views of 51 EPs and 120 SLTs, who worked in the case study LAs with respect to: collaboration; approach to assessment; provision; monitoring of progress; training and views on good practice. Despite the positive regard for collaboration expressed by both EPs and SLTs, their practice revealed little evidence of this occurring. Differences in approach, including the use of assessments for diagnostic purposes and the preference for inclusive as opposed to specialist provision, revealed important differences in conceptualisation between EPs and SLTs. The paper argues that these must be addressed so that collaborative practice by EPs and SLTs may be used not only to develop good practice but also to improve outcomes for children by effective practice.

Type: Article
Title: Working together?: the practice of educational psychologists and speech and language therapists with children with specific speech and language difficulties
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Professional standards
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10000796
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