Preparing Students to Understand and Honor Families as Partners As service providers, speech-language pathologists are in the midst of a transition from the “expert” model of intervention to forming partnerships with families and serving as resources. Although the shift from client-centered to family-centered service delivery is underway, little information has been made available on steps being taken at the ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1998
Preparing Students to Understand and Honor Families as Partners
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Melissa C. Bruce
    University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Nancy DiVenere
    Parent to Parent of Vermont, Winooski
  • Cathy Bergeron
    Parent to Parent of Vermont, Winooski
  • Contact author: Melissa C. Bruce, Department of Communication Sciences, Pomeroy Hall, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. Email: melissa.bruce@uvm.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1998
Preparing Students to Understand and Honor Families as Partners
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1998, Vol. 7, 85-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0703.85
History: Received July 24, 1997 , Accepted April 27, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1998, Vol. 7, 85-94. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0703.85
History: Received July 24, 1997; Accepted April 27, 1998

As service providers, speech-language pathologists are in the midst of a transition from the “expert” model of intervention to forming partnerships with families and serving as resources. Although the shift from client-centered to family-centered service delivery is underway, little information has been made available on steps being taken at the pre-service training level to accomplish this change and the success of such efforts. This paper describes an innovative approach to preparing speech-language pathology students to be family centered in their professional interactions and service delivery. Over a 4-year period, 41 students embarking on their first semester of clinical training were paired with families of children with special needs for a family visit of 2 to 4 hours in length. The components of the training included pre-visit classroom exercises focused on personal values clarification and language sensitivity, visit orientation for the students and families, a family visit, journal writing by students about the visit experience, and post-visit class discussion of the visit experiences and learning outcomes. Pre- and post-measurement of students’ attitudes regarding a family’s role in intervention reflected a statistically significant change in students’ responses to questionnaire items. The students’ responses indicated an increase in family-centered attitudes and demonstrated the effectiveness of this approach in shaping those attitudes.

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