Guest Blog by
Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University
Departement of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, YARSI University
In our Indonesian pediatric practice, parents often report that their young children have delayed speech. Both intrinsic factors and extrinsic factors may affect delayed speech. Research shows that better parenting is associated with better child development, including speech and language development. We wanted to see if one of the extrinsic factors might be the parent-child relationship and the interaction within the family. This clinical study was conducted to explore the parent-child interactions of Indonesian families with young children with speech delays.
The 14 Indonesian families in the study had young children diagnosed with delayed speech. All of them have undergone special treatment for the delays. Children engage in language development exercises with the therapist, in hospital, at least once a week, depending on their language skills. After the session with the child, the therapist discusses the child’s progress with the parents and usually asks the parents about the child’s language progress at home. So, this way the progress can improve comprehensively.
This clinical study was conducted by a cross-sectional survey approach with Indonesian families in June-August, 2017. This descriptive study included 14 families with young children diagnosed with delayed speech using Denver II. Both mothers and fathers participated in play with their children, while researchers observed using the KIPS parenting assessment to assess the quality of interactions between parents and their children.
Most of the 14 children (64.3%, n= 9) with delayed speech were in the age group of 2-3 years. The children with the most delayed speech were males (85.7%, n=12).
On the KIPS assessment, the mean score for the group of 14 parents was 2.87 on the 5-point KIPS scale. The range of KIPS mean scores was 3.81 – 2.09. Of the 14 parents, 58.3% (n=7) showed mean scores within the low-quality range (mean = 1-2.9). "Open to Child’s Agenda" was the KIPS behavior assessed as low-quality most often for 83.3% of the parent-child dyads. "Engage in Language Experiences" was the KIPS behavior assessed as high-quality (means = 4.0-5) most often for 66.7% of the parent–child dyads.
This clinical study showed a high prevalence (58.3%) of low-quality parenting behavior during parent-child interactions in the participating Indonesian families of young children with delayed speech. KIPS helped to understand parents' and children’s needs and how to properly respond to children in every activity they do. Parents learned which behaviours they should build up, and which behaviours they were missing. As an assessment tool with families of children with delayed speech, KIPS differentiated the main factors associated with delayed speech in children with no organic disabilities. We did the KIPS assessment with families of different ethnicities in Indonesia and found that KIPS could still objectively assess the interactions between parents and children.
Editor’s Note: The authors may be too humble to point out that the high “Engage in Language Experiences” scores on KIPS may be a result of the work of the therapist in supporting the parents. It would be interesting to assess parent-child interaction as the families enter services and again when they complete services to see if parenting changes over time with treatment.
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