Intensive Narrative Intervention in the Schools

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1 Page 1 of 9 Intensive Narrative Intervention in the Schools SLP Leadership Group April 11, 2012 Why Intensive? Intensive Service Delivery (Gillam and Frome-Loeb, 2010): Students: 216 school age students in Texas and Kansas Four Common Characteristics of Treatment Four treatment conditions: Pre and Post-test: Administered battery of tests, including Comprehensive Assessment of Spoken Language (CASL) Compared to: pre and post-test standard scores on the Test of Language Development Primary (3rd edition) from a large group (n=156) of same-age children who had participated in a longitudinal epidemiological study in Iowa (Tomblin et al., 1997; Tomblin et al., 2003). Children in the Iowa study received intervention in public school settings twice each week for 20- minute sessions for two years (an approximate total of 48 hours). Results: Improved significantly in Continued to improve for 6 months. Improvement was FIVE times greater than the improvement seen in Iowa Study after 2 years. Similar results as Barratt et al. (1992) study with preschool children: Students with intensive intervention programs showed greater improvement in language expression than students in once-weekly services

2 Page 2 of 9 Why Narratives? we dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate and love by narrative. Hardy (1978) Children with Language Impairment have difficulties with: Narrative Macrostructure: o Greater variability across stories o Incomplete references to characters and story contexts o Fewer story grammar components Narrative Microstructure: o Fewer complex sentences o More grammatical errors o Limited number and type of conjunctions o Fewer mental and linguistic verbs o Fewer adverbs Narrative Research Shows: Narrative assessment is a useful tool in identifying language impairment (Gillam, 2010) Narrative retelling tasks without visual aids may not be as useful as those with them (Wellman et al, 2009) Language intervention using narratives should focus initially on narrative macrostructure (Wellman et al., 2009) Students with language disorders that appear to recover by second grade still look disordered in narrative abilities in fourth grade (Gillam, 2009) Stickwriting can be a successful strategy for representing a narrative visually as an alternative to writing text (Ukrainetz, 1998) Narrative intervention found to provide gains in language skills that were 40-60% higher than traditional language card therapy (Gillam, 2009) Narrative intervention also found to be effective for students with significant disabilities (Gillam, 2009)

3 Page 3 of 9 How Did We Get Started? Read about intensive intervention in and wrote blog article Presented content to SpEd Directors at Fall Conference Talked to Drs. Gillam about presenting at Summer Institute Interested SLPs to participated in Summer Institute and Pilot Prep Completed intervention and collected post-test data February 2010 Saw Dr. Gillam presentation on Narratives at ASHA Schools Conference Presented webinar on narratives interest by SLPs Asked for funding for pilot project and proposed to SpEd Directors Collected pretest data and started intervention August 2011 Each Pilot Project Site Provided: The ESC Provided: 1. Training in Narrative Intervention, including travel 2. Access to scripted intervention materials 3. Funding for 1 SLP 4. Analysis of results of project by researchers

4 Page 4 of 9 What did we do? Based on the work of Drs. Ron and Sandi Gillam (Functional Language Intervention Program for Narratives (FLIP-N), Gillam and Gillam, 2009) Goals of narrative intervention: o Improve story comprehension (literal, inferential, gist comprehension) o Improve the ability to construct more complex stories o Improve vocabulary and sentence complexity Therapy targets: o Inclusion of story grammar elements o Temporal adverbs o Causal adverbs o Mental and linguistic verbs o Pronoun use o Dialogue o Complex sentences Narrative Intervention Activities: o Story modeling single photo, wordless picture books o Visual/graphic organizers o Child/clinician drawings - pictographs o Co-telling prompted co-creation o Comprehension checks literal and inferential o Multiple retelling o Parallel stories (make up a story like the one they just heard) o Independent story generation Phases of Narrative Intervention: Phase 1: Basic story structure Phase 2: Elaboration o o Story structure Sentence structure (complex sentences) Phase 3: Independent Storytelling

5 Page 5 of 9 Phase 1: Teaching a Basic Story Teach the meaning and function of icons (simple pictures) to represent the story grammar element Teach icons and Key Words/Vocabulary to get into story retelling Plan Story Grammar Character Setting Take-off Feeling Plan Action Complication Landing Wrap up Key Words person, animal, toy, many, name Place, city, time of day, many Scary, funny, problem, All of a sudden Decided, wanted, planned, thought Use SO and BECAUSE to explain action in response to initiating events (Take offs) Uh oh! The problem was solved when...finally... In the end... Key Teaching Phrase(s) A character is a person, animal, toy, etc. How many characters can a story have? Our characters need names. Setting can be a place, time, or city. What time of day or night was the story? How many setting elements can a story have? Name something that gets the story going. Might say All of a sudden... to cue How did the character FEEL about the take-off? What did the character THINK about doing? What did he WANT to do? What did the character DO because of the Takeoff? Might say Uh oh to cue. Something got in the way. What happened to make the story end? What did the character(s) do to solve the problem? Remind us about what happened and how do you think the character(s) felt about it?

6 Page 6 of 9 Go through a simple picture story, hold up icons and get students to ID the elements in the story: o Tell the story co-tell o Draw it out - Storyboard with icons (stick figure drawing draw as fast as you can ) o Retell from your story board o Create a new parallel story ( mentor text idea) Phase II: Elaboration Assist students in elaborating on the story grammar elements they have learned o Character names, personality attributes o Specific setting elements, city names o Elaborated actions o More sophisticated vocabulary to describe character feelings Push students to be more complex elaborated noun phrases (name characters and say one thing about them) Susan, with red bows in her hair, Go back to old stories the story told and add pieces to make the story more complex Add one bit of complexity at a time Phase III: Becoming independent story tellers Develop stories from single scenes Each child develops his or her own story Children tell each other s stories Use bingo cards to encourage students to monitor each other for SG elements Start with story boards Finish without them How Did it Work? Quantitative Results Student Data n = 15 Pre-Post Effect Change on Story Retelling -.80 Pre-Post Effect Change on Vocabulary Additional Data on Four of the participants: o Average CELF Scaled Score Pre-test 8.6 o Average CELF Scaled Score Post-test o No change in TEWL Scores

7 Page 7 of 9 The average effect size for improvements in language intervention studies that have been published is.6. So, the children who received services from your clinicians made more improvements than the average child who participates in research studies on language intervention techniques. Dr. Ron Gillam Clinician Data 100% of clinicians rated the scripted narrative intervention materials as liked a lot 75% of clinicians rated the computer work as liked a little 100% of clinicians rated the parent response as liked a lot 100% of clinicians rated the progress made by students as Good 100% of clinicians rated their administrator s response as liked a lot 25% of clinicians reported that classroom teacher reported improvement in a student this year 100% of clinicians would be interested in participating in the project again this summer 100% of clinicians incorporated the therapy strategies into their intervention What made the project MOST beneficial to their students: o Daily contact with therapist 75% o Narrative intervention 100% o Computer work 33% o Continuation of services through the summer 33% o Therapist contact with parents 33% What made the project MOST beneficial to the clinicians: o Daily contact with students 50% o Training on narrative intervention 50% o Scripted nature of the program 33% o Seeing progress of students during school year 33% o Opportunity for summer employment 33% The following barriers were reported for providing the program again o Lack of funding 25% o Lack of appropriate students 25% o Lack of time by SLP 75%

8 Page 8 of 9 Qualitative Results Materials, books, and therapy comments: The visuals really helped the kids remember the parts of the narratives. Great stories! Followed the icons well. It was hard to do this in the summer period when our district was essentially "closed". The janitors were waxing floors and AC was sometimes off. Felt very alone. Would have been better if done at a time and campus that was "actively" doing summer school. Transportation for students would have allowed more to participate. I was really pleased with this experience. I had some introduction to narrative therapy in college, but wasn't sure how to implement it in the schools. It was great to put it into practical use. The program gave me a framework for introducing and then continuing on with a higher level of narrative. Some students were able to tell me how they used the structure when writing for their STARR practice writing test. Parent Response: The parents commented that they had noticed an increase in expressive language at home during the summer pilot period of 4 weeks. They were very appreciative of the program being offered as an extra in the summer. All expressed being pleased with the progress and most of the kids were excited to come each day. Parents continually expressed their gratitude for the opportunity for their students to learn. Student Response: Students with the weakest language skills made the greatest progress. Great structured program. It was really neat to see the kids every day. They retain so much more than 2x weekly. For districts with a low SES and bilingual, the students who would benefit the most were the upper elementary age. I was particularly impressed by the improvement for students with auditory comprehension issues. Good gains were noted.

9 Page 9 of 9 Want to Know More? References: Barratt, J., Littlejohns, P., & Thompson, J. (1992). Trial of intensive compared with weekly speech therapy in preschool children. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 67, Gillam, R. and Gillam, S. (2011). Supporting Core Curricular Standards: Assessment and Treatment of Narratives. Paper presented at Education Service Center Region XIII SLP Hill Country Institute, June, Gillam, R. (2010). Evidence-based Assessment and Treatment of Narrative Abilities. Paper presented at the American Speech Language Hearing Association Schools Conference, July, Gillam, S. (2009). Narrative Language Intervention: Promoting Oral Language Development. Paper presented at the Gold Coast Conference, January Gillam, R. & Frome Loeb, D. (2010, January 19). Principles for School-Age Language Intervention: Insights from a Randomized Controlled Trial. The ASHA Leader. Hardy, B. (1978). Narrative as a primary act of mind. In cool web, edited by M. Meek, A. Warlow, and G. Barton, New York: Atheneum. Swanson, L. A., Fey, M. E., et al. (2005). Use of narrative-based language intervention with children who have specific language impairment. American Journal of Speech Language Pathology, 14(2): Tomblin, J.B., Zhang, X. Buckwalter, P., and O Brien, M. (2003). The stability of primary language disorder: Four years after kindergarten diagnosis. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 46, Ukrainetz, T.A. (1998). Stickwriting stories: A quick and easy narrative notation strategy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 29, Wellman,R. L., Lewis, B.A., Freebairn, L.A., et al. (2009). Narrative ability of children with speech and language deficits. Poster presented at American Speech Language Hearing Association, November, Drs. Gillam Resources: Ask me: Kathy Clapsaddle, M.S. CCC-SLP Education Service Center Region XIII

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