Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Robyn Moore

Faculty Sponsor

Kathleen Fahey


Speech and language disorders are the most common reason for early intervention services in children under the age of five because these impairments can occur in isolation or with other disabilities. Early intervention seeks to lessen or even eliminate the need for therapy later in the child’s life by providing therapy for the child and education for the parents on how to foster their child’s language development. Parents of children with special needs often have more complex needs than families with typical children. This qualitative study seeks to determine what emotional supports families with children who have special needs require, and to examine how well speech-language pathologists are able to meet the needs of these families. The relationship between the speech-language pathologist and parents has been compared to a dance, with each partner bringing their own talents and grace to the floor (Brotherson et al., 2010). It is anticipated that speech-language pathologists are well equipped to provide information and resources to families, but may not be as comfortable providing emotional support. The results of this study could serve as a training tool for speech-language pathologists in meeting the needs of the families they serve.