Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



The purpose of this study was to identify how SLP communication regarding language disorders was perceived by caregivers. Employing a qualitative methodology, the caregivers of 10 children, identified with a language-based reading impairment, participated in semi-structured interviews concerning their experiences communicating with SLPs. As a whole, the findings showed the value caregivers place on receiving clear, concrete, and timely diagnostic information, the variability and complexity associated with caregivers’ understanding of language disorders, and the reciprocal relationship between key SLP communication practices, caregiver knowledge, and effective collaboration. Some of the key themes emphasized in regard to SLP communication practices included: recognition of the importance of diagnostic labels to caregivers, recognition of the potentially different ways caregivers may interpret diagnostic labels, recognition of the need for initiating and following-up on communication opportunities with caregivers, recognition of the necessity of checking for caregiver understanding of messages, recognition of how caregiver roles and responsibilities influence caregiver collaboration, and recognition of the importance of providing caregivers with informational resources across time that increase their knowledge and understanding of the diagnostic and intervention process.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Oetting, Janna