• Josephine Rossé Herrig Simonsen
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
Background: Previous research finds that there are approximately 2 children in each school class who have persistent language difficulties and can be diagnosed with developmental lan- guage disorder (DLD) in ICD-11. The child can experience difficulties across the domains of language and cognition and are twice as likely to exhibit a clinical level of socioemotional and behavioral symptoms as opposed to their typically developing peers. Pædagogisk Psykologisk Rådgivning (PPR) assists if the child's difficulties require assessment or special support. Aims: Little is known about the views of professionals working with children with language, socioemotional and behavioral difficulties in PPR. I seek to examine whether psychologists and speech-language therapists working in PPR experience that children with language difficulties have socioemotional and behavioral difficulties and if so, how they experience working with the child’s difficulties. Methods: I conducted five semistructured interviews with psychologists and speech-language therapists working in PPR. From a critical realist approach the interviews were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis and three themes were developed. Outcomes and Results: The results suggest that A) children with language difficulties have poor social and academic skills and due to professionals’ lack of knowledge about DLD, there is a risk that language difficulties are not recognized which can lead to socioemotional and behavioral difficulties. B) The professionals have concerns about collaboration with the child's parents due to the parents’ language difficulties or socio-economic status. It is an obstacle to parental collaboration when professionals attribute environmental conditions as the cause of DLD. Lastly C) when the child has difficulties in both domains an interdisciplinary approach is important, which presupposes an organization of the PPR unit that enables collaboration. Lack of knowledge about the competencies of other professionals and a hierarchical understanding of the professions have negative implications for the shared understanding of the child's difficul- ties. The results were discussed using Edwards' concept of relational agency and the thesis’ theoretical framework consisting of Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory and Tomasello’s usage- based theory. Conclusions and Implications: I can conclude that language difficulties can lead to socioemotional and behavioral difficulties. Lack of knowledge about DLD, the professional’s relational agency and the organization of the PPR unit affects how the professional approaches the work with the child's difficulties. The findings underline the importance of conveying knowledge about DLD to improve early identification of language difficulties to prevent soci- oemotional and behavioral difficulties.
Publication date31 May 2023
Number of pages83
ID: 532432134