Course Introduction

Early intervention SLPs know that we have the biggest impact on our clients’ communication skills by supporting their caregivers—the people who are with them all the time, not just for one or two brief sessions per week—to deliver interventions and use strategies themselves, all day long. We train, we model, we coach, and we hope for the follow-through. But what parent-delivered interventions are effective? Which strategies are parents most likely to learn and run with? How much training is enough? How is that training best delivered?

We need to know the research!

The five research study reviews below all specifically address communication interventions via parent training, for a variety of disability types (Developmental Language Disorder [DLD], hearing loss, autism, and multiple challenges) and communication targets, getting at just those questions we need answered. Need to shake up your routine? You’ll also read about novel service-delivery methods, including online and group trainings.

Pay attention to the terms the researchers use for simple strategies you already do, probably unconsciously. Did you realize you were teaching “linguistic mapping,” or using the POWR method? While we need to be wary of losing ourselves in professional jargon, especially when working with families, there are times when a cool-sounding name has real value—empowering parents with the thought that they are “doing therapy” when they play with their kids, illustrating our professionalism in multi-disciplinary settings, and reminding us that there’s a method to our madness.

Learning Outcomes & Details

As a result of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe strategies for getting parents involved early for children with language disorders, and list factors to consider when trying to decide if a “wait and see” approach to language delay is appropriate.

  2. List options for training parents to work with their children, as well as training parents to support each other (clinician–parent, and parent–parent).

  3. Describe what verbal responsiveness is, and how it could be used by parents of children with communication disorders.

Course Type: Text; Web or downloadable PDF

Time: This is a half-hour course.

ASHA CEUs: This course is offered for .05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area)

Course Completion Requirements: Read the full course, then take a quiz at the end. Must pass with a score of 80% or better (two attempts allowed).

Questions? See our frequently asked questions.


Course edited and compiled by:

Meredith Harold, PhD, CCC-SLP is owner of The Informed SLP and faculty at Rockhurst University. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from The Informed SLP and Rockhurst University. Nonfinancial Disclosure— Vice President of Speech–Language Pathology for the Kansas Speech–Language–Hearing Association Board; Board member of the American Speech–Language–Hearing Association Committee on Clinical Research, Implementation Science, and Evidence-Based Practice.

Karen Evans, MA, CCC-SLP is a speech–language pathologist at Intermediate District 287, and employee of The Informed SLP. Financial Disclosure— receives salary from Intermediate District 287 and The Informed SLP. Nonfinancial Disclosure— None.

Full research and writing team bios can be found here. The Informed SLP’s researchers and writers are prohibited from having any financial or nonfinancial conflicts of interest related to the content they research and report on.

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This course is offered for .05 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).