Lange termijn effecten van multidisciplinaire vroegtijdige behandeling van spraak-taalproblemen bij jonge kinderen
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The current study presents results of a follow-up study on a longitudinal research project concerning the effects of early multidisciplinary treatment of speech and language problems in young children. Now, a fourth wave of data on language comprehension, word production and sentence production (syntax) and a third wave of data on behavioural problems are presented. Previous analysis of the first three waves of data on language skills showed that this multidisciplinary intervention was more effective in improving children’s language comprehension and word production than monodisciplinary speech and language therapy. The effectiveness of both treatments was similar for sentence production. Differentiation based on type of problem showed that only children with an autism spectrum disorder differed from the others in the progress they made. This differs from findings in the limited available literature, which reports that children with expressive language disorders benefit more from treatment than children with both expressive and receptive language problems. It is known that children with language disorders often display both internalising and externalising behavioural problems. No literature is available on the effects of treatment of language problems on behavioural problems. In the analysis of previously gathered data no short-term effect of treatment on the display of behavioural problems was found. In the current study data of the fourth wave are included in analyses in order to evaluate long-term effects of the treatment after it has been ended. The effects on language comprehension and production that were found after 6 months of treatment are maintained after the treatment has ended. Comparing groups with different types of language problems shows that children with secondary language problems seem to benefit less from the intervention than children with primary language disorders. Long-term effects of the intervention on behavioural problems are not found on the short term, nor on the long term. There are some methodological issues, mainly to do with sample size, limiting the interpretability of some of the results, most notably those concerning behavioural problems. Because of the methodological issues, suggestions concerning future research include suggestions on improvements that should be made were this project to be repeated, as is strongly recommended.