Delayed Referral in children with Speech and Language Disorders for Rehabilitation Services
Objectives: Speech and language development is one of the main aspects of evolution in humans and is one of the most complex brain functions such that it is referred to as one of the highest cortical functions such as thinking, reading and writing. Speech and language disorders are considered as a major public health problem because they cause many secondary complications in the childhood and adulthood period which affect one’s socioeconomic status overall
Methods: This study was conducted in two phases. The first phase was to identify all potential factors influencing delay in referral of children with speech and language disorders for receiving rehabilitation services, based on literature as well as the families’ and experts’ points of view. In the second phase of the study which was designed in a case-control manner, actual factors influencing the time of referral were compared between two groups of participants
Results: Parental knowledge of their children's problems related to speech and language had no significant impact on the on-time referral for treatment for children with speech and language disorders. After the child definite diagnosis of speech and language disorders, parents’ information about the consequences of speech and language disorders, had a significant influence on early referral for speech and language pathology services .
Discussion: In this study family structure plays an important role in the early identification of children with developmental disorders. Two-parent families had access to more resources than single-parent families. In addition, single-parent families may be more involved in the work and business of life.