American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
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Purpose. To identify predictors of communicative participation outcomes for a large cohort of preschoolers with communication disorders.
Method. A secondary analysis of longitudinal program evaluation data from Ontario Canada’s Preschool Speech and Language Program (PSLP). Data available for 46,872 children 18-67 months of age (M = 41.76 mo, SD = 11.92, 68% male) were previously used to predict children’s communicative participation skill development in five levels of function. Demographic and intervention-based variables were added to the models to identify new predictors of growth.
Results. Three demographic and three intervention-based variables were statistically significant predictors of children’s communicative participation outcomes. Clinically significant predictors included participation in an early learning environment, receipt of speech-language interventions, and the amount of time spent in intervention. These variables impacted predicted outcomes differently depending on a child’s level of communicative function.
Conclusions. This population-based study of preschoolers with speech and language disorders identified predictors of growth in communicative participation skills – an outcome important and meaningful to families but, not often explored. A broad picture emerged of factors that may influence the development of communicative participation skills, and may be used to predict outcomes for preschoolers. Given the large sample size, these robust findings may be used to predict outcomes outside the PSLP as well.