Service Delivery Models
The Lidcombe Program was developed for speech-language pathologists to use, with parents going to the clinic each week with their children to learn how to do the treatment. Worldwide clinical trials have shown that this way of doing the treatment is effective, but progress for the better is happening.
A recent development of the Lidcombe Program shows that it can be used in clinics with a small group of families, at the same time. Treatment of families in groups of three or four is time saving for the speech-language pathologist, but there are also benefits for the families: Parents can learn how to do the treatment not just from their speech-language pathologist, but also by observing the other children in the group. And parents can support each other throughout the treatment process. For the children in the group, seeing other children at their clinic visits can be very enjoyable. Most importantly, a randomised controlled trial has shown this group treatment method can be just as effective as the individual method.
Another way the Lidcombe Program is progressing is keeping up with modern Internet technology. Access to the Internet is now common for parents, and it is possible for them to do the Lidcombe Program by webcam without ever being in the same room as the speech-language pathologist! A randomised controlled trial of this way of doing the treatment showed it to be just as good as with parents attending the clinic. Advantages to Internet webcam treatment are that parents don't need to go with children to the speech clinic each week, and that parents can access a qualified Lidcombe Program speech-language pathologist no matter where they live.
A further Lidcombe Program development that the team is currently working on is called standalone Internet treatment website. This is becoming a common approach with health care. How it works is that a speech-language pathologists gives parents a password to a website that enables them to do the treatment without ever having any contact with the speech-language pathologist. There are good reasons to think that, for some families, this might be an effective way to do the treatment. The team has received a large grant from the Australian Government to build and test a Lidcombe Program website.