Category Archives: Non-English Speaking Families

Can you treat a child with the Lidcombe Program when the parents do not speak the same language as the speech-language pathologist? Is it possible to use interpreters effectively in such a situation? What problems may be encountered when using interpreters?

Yes it is possible to successfully treat a child with the Lidcombe Program when the parents and the speech-language pathologist do not speak the same language, and interpreters can be used effectively to help communicate with the family.
While this is true, some aspects of the program may be more difficult to manage. Here are some potential problems and solutions when working with interpreters:

1. Difficulty demonstrating therapy (especially if child doesn’t speak English either)

Solution: Allow for increased time spent on description about how to do or change therapy. Allow for increased observation of parent doing therapy (clinician watching with interpreter) followed by discussion. Allow for increased use of videoed therapy sessions, watching these with parent and interpreter, to address specific aspects of therapy.

2. Clarifying identification of subtle stutters for both speech-language pathologist and parent.

Solution: It may take longer to ensure stutters are identified accurately before therapy can proceed. Plan for taped or videoed footage to play back examples of stuttering behaviours.

3. Appointments often move more slowly (things said twice) and so the amount of information given/received may be reduced & may extend the length of the child’s treatment.

Solution: Be prepared for this and just work with it.

4. Increased numbers in the room (3 adults to one child) if child is shy or uncertain, this number of adults may reduce their comfort communicating at all in the clinic

Solution: Use observation room if this is available. Use recorded footage of child for speech samples and for therapy.