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Perspectives of Pre‐school children in England with speech and language needs in the development of evidence‐based activities

Coad, Jane and Harding, Sam and Hambly, Helen and Parker, Naomi and Morgan, Lydia and Marshall, Julie and Roulstone, Sue (2020) Perspectives of Pre‐school children in England with speech and language needs in the development of evidence‐based activities. Child: Care, Health and Development. ISSN 0305-1862

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Abstract

Background The existing evidence is limited in terms of perspectives of pre-school children with speech and language needs, and their views on activities used to support their needs. This paper discusses a stream of work from the interdisciplinary research programme known as [‘Child Talk’, based in England, UK. The overall purpose of this work stream was to gain the perspectives of pre-school children aged 2 to 5 years 11 months, with speech and language needs, to use in the development of an evidence-based framework of activities. Methods Twenty-four pre-schoolchildren with a variety of needs from diverse backgrounds took part. An observational methodology was used to capture children’s experiences. Children were filmed during a series of sessions, with innovative head mounted cameras worn by the children and supported by researcher field notes. Framework analysis was used to analyse the data based on the body movement, vocalisation and visual attention of the children during these sessions. Results and Conclusions. Results included that children expressed enjoyment and engagement in the activities. The children expressed themselves and demonstrated their focus ‘multimodally’ through combinations of body language, vocalisation, and visual attention. These modalities were present across all contexts and children. It highlights the importance of encouraging participation in pre-school children and consequently this innovative piece of work has national and international importance.

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