Types of intervention and funding used across services for children with DLD

Søndergaard Knudsen, H. B., Jalali-Moghadam, N., Nieva, S., Czaplewska, E., Laasonen, M., Gerrits, E., McKean, C., & Law, J. (2022). Allocation and funding of Speech and Language Therapy for Children with Developmental Language Disorders across Europe and beyond. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 121, 104139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104139

Aim of the paper:

Past research has found different countries prefer different types of Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) intervention. Factors such as age and severity of DLD influence preferred therapy. Whilst some research has found direct therapies to be more popular, indirect therapy allows parents to have a bigger role and can be more collaborative. The interventions that professionals choose are often influenced by their financial and service provision resources.

This study analysed a survey completed by over 5000 European professionals. Most of these professionals were SLTs. The paper explored differences in funding and intervention type of SLT services for children with DLD in different countries. Intervention types included direct intervention, indirect intervention and mixed intervention. Funding types included public, private and mixed.

Key terms:

- Direct intervention is where a SLT delivers the intervention

- Indirect intervention is where the intervention is delivered by others under the guidance of a SLT

- Mixed intervention uses both direct and indirect interventions

What was found:

  • For type of intervention, direct intervention was the most common.

  • For type of funding, SLT services most often received public funding.

  • For direct intervention, there were more cases than expected receiving private funding. This was the opposite case for indirect intervention; there were more cases than expected receiving public funding and fewer than expected receiving private funding.

  • In terms of European countries, services in continental countries like France and Germany were most likely to receive public or mixed funding. In the United Kingdom, Ireland and Nordic countries, services were most likely to receive public funding. Services in Mediterranean, such as Italy, and non-European countries were most likely to receive private funding.

  • Type of therapy was predicted by whether the child received private funding and whether the child received public funding in a certain country.


What does this mean?


The study found that direct intervention was the most common intervention in most countries for children with DLD and that services mostly received public funding. The study found differences in funding between countries, suggesting that countries’ policies may influence the type of therapy used. Additionally, many publications about interventions are written in English, which may mean the findings cannot be accessed by non-English practitioners. Considering the findings, researchers should focus on the most effective types of therapy for children with DLD as well as ensuring these are accessible for non-English practitioners.

Where can I read this paper?


This paper is open access, which means everyone can read it.

Please click here to find the full paper.