Exploring parental perspectives of childhood speech and language disorders across 10 countries: A pilot qualitative study

Kristine M. Jensen de López, Rena Lyons, Rama Novogrodsky, Sofia Baena, Julie Feilberg, Sam Harding, Maja Kelić, Inge S. Klatte, Tina C. Mantel, Marina O. Tomazin, Thora S. Ulfsdottir, Krisztina Zajdó, Isabel R. Rodriguez-Ortiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Although researchers have explored parental perspectives of childhood speech and language disorders, most studies have been conducted in English-speaking countries. Little is known about parental experiences across countries, where procedures of language screening and services for language disorders differ. The authors participated in the COST1 Action network IS1406, “Enhancing Children’s Oral Language Skills Across Europe and Beyond,” which provided an opportunity to conduct cross-country qualitative interviews with parents. The aim of this pilot study was to explore ways in which parents construed and described speech and language disorders across countries. Method: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with parents from 10 families in 10 different countries. The data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Findings: The overall theme was “acknowledging parental expertise.” The parents described, in detail, ways in which their children’s speech and language (dis)abilities had an impact on the children’s everyday life. Three subthemes were identified: impairment, disability, and changes over time. Conclusions: The findings suggest that, across a range of countries, parents demonstrated contextualized understandings of their children’s speech and language (dis)abilities, along with the everyday functional implications of the disorders. Hence, despite not holding professional knowledge about language disorders, the voices, views, understandings, and personal experiences of parents in relation to their child’s disorder should be listened to when planning therapy services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1739-1747
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors.


  • Child
  • Humans
  • Language Disorders
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents
  • Pilot Projects
  • Speech

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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