Mexican Immigrant Mothers' Perceptions of Their Children’s Communication Disabilities, Emergent Literacy Development, and Speech-Language Therapy Program Purpose This qualitative study explored mothers' perceptions of their children’s communication disabilities, emergent literacy development, and speech-language therapy programs. Method Participants were 14 Mexican immigrant mothers and their children (age 17–47 months) who were receiving center-based services from an early childhood intervention program, located in a large urban ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2007
Mexican Immigrant Mothers' Perceptions of Their Children’s Communication Disabilities, Emergent Literacy Development, and Speech-Language Therapy Program
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sharon E. Kummerer
    Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, Chicago
  • Norma A. Lopez-Reyna
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Marie Tejero Hughes
    University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Contact author: Sharon E. Kummerer, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, 1401 South California Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60608. E-mail: skumme1@uic.edu.
Article Information
Development / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Normal Language Processing / Language Disorders / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2007
Mexican Immigrant Mothers' Perceptions of Their Children’s Communication Disabilities, Emergent Literacy Development, and Speech-Language Therapy Program
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 271-282. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/031)
History: Received October 17, 2005 , Revised May 21, 2006 , Accepted April 1, 2007
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2007, Vol. 16, 271-282. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2007/031)
History: Received October 17, 2005; Revised May 21, 2006; Accepted April 1, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Purpose This qualitative study explored mothers' perceptions of their children’s communication disabilities, emergent literacy development, and speech-language therapy programs.

Method Participants were 14 Mexican immigrant mothers and their children (age 17–47 months) who were receiving center-based services from an early childhood intervention program, located in a large urban city in the Midwestern United States. Mother interviews composed the primary source of data. A secondary source of data included children’s therapy files and log notes. Following the analysis of interviews through the constant comparative method, grounded theory was generated.

Results The majority of mothers perceived their children as exhibiting a communication delay. Causal attributions were diverse and generally medical in nature (i.e., ear infections, seizures) or due to familial factors (i.e., family history and heredity, lack of extended family). Overall, mothers seemed more focused on their children’s speech intelligibility and/or expressive language in comparison to emergent literacy abilities.

Conclusions To promote culturally responsive intervention, mothers recommended that professionals speak Spanish, provide information about the therapy process, and use existing techniques with Mexican immigrant families.

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