Archive for November 26th, 2010

What parents & teachers know

In our role as speech language pathologists, we often rely on reports from teachers and from parents to inform our clinical decisions. When the child is bilingual, in addition to the usual questions about development, language milestones, and language use/demands, we need to find out what language(s) is used and when. Part of our training is to learn to incorporate this information into our clinical decisions. We learn that parents know their child best, they are with them the most. Teachers also develop unique insights to the children in their classroom and they see them every day. SLPs usually only get a couple of hours at most in which to make these decisions and so must rely on information we get from parents and teachers. At the same time though, sometimes this information is suspect. I’m not sure why. Most studies comparing parent and professional observations of milestones such as language show that parents are very accurate. But, they aren’t quite as accurate in recalling developmental information and are less accurate over time. Studies of bilingual children show that parents can accurately make judgements about language ability and language dominance.

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