Parent Coaching in Natural Communication Opportunities Through Bug-in-Ear Technology




Hamberger, Rachel Jane

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Language disorders are the most common developmental delay, impacting up to 40% of children under the age of five. Delays in language can lead to academic, social, and behavioral difficulties. Early intervention is essential for building language skills and decreasing potential impacts on other areas of development. Research indicates that the most effective early intervention takes place within the family context in the child’s natural environment. Enabling parents to carry out the intervention not only allows for the child to encounter learning opportunities throughout the day but empowers parents to feel effective when playing and interacting with their child. However, parents are not usually taught explicit skills to work with their child with a language disorder. Therefore, the need exists to establish a parent training modality that fits within a family’s daily routine, allowing early childhood special educators to coach parents in evidence-based interventions. Bug-in-ear (BIE) eCoaching is an empirically validated intervention for coaching educators of young children, including parents, in-service teachers, and pre-service teachers. The current single case, multiple-baseline study examined whether there was a functional relation between BIE eCoaching with parents of young children with language disorders and parent provision of natural communication opportunities and whether parents maintained their provision of natural communication opportunities when the intervention was faded. Data were also collected to assess the social validity of the intervention. The results of the study indicate that BIE eCoaching with parents of young children with language disorders was moderately effective in increasing parent provision of natural communication opportunities. Parents were able to maintain their provision of natural language opportunities above baseline levels after intervention was withdrawn. All participants strongly agreed that BIE eCoaching was helpful for changing their communication practices with their child and would recommend it to other parents of children with language delays. Practical implications and suggestions for future research were addressed.



Special education, Bug-in-Ear, Early intervention, ECoaching, Language disorders, Naturalistic instruction, Parent coaching