Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Communications

First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Hardman

Second Advisor

Dr. Ian Cosh

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeanna Westmoreland

Abstract

Views of language learning have shifted from passive, behavioristic models in the l 960's to contemporary models which view the child as an active learner (Nelson, 1995). During the same time period, laws such as PL 94-142 and PL 99-457 were passed, which mandated that special services be provided to preschool children and their families and that services be provided in a Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) (Tiegerman-Farber, 1995). Naturalistic speech and language remediation is one option that meets the LRE for the preschool population. A mail-out survey of 200 Arkansas Speech-Language Pathologists was utilized in researching the actual and ideal methods employed. The purposes of the survey were: 1) to determine the number of Speech-Language Pathologists in Arkansas who employ naturalistic techniques, 2) to determine what they considered as the Ideal service-delivery method, 3) to determine if they currently employed that type of service-delivery, and 4) if not, what prevented them from doing so. The results include information from 63 surveys which were returned by SLP's who serve preschoolers. Utilizing primarily naturalistic techniques was reported by 56.5% of respondents, slightly fewer SLP's in small counties (44.4%) reported primarily naturalistic techniques. Ideal service-delivery was reported as a classroom setting with pull-out therapy, yet actual service-delivery was reported most frequently as individual, or one-on-one. Arkansas SLP's did report using primarily naturalistic remediation, but 40.3% did not. Further, they did not report providing therapy through their ideal service-delivery method.

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