n South African Journal of Child Health - Exploring sibling attitudes towards participation when the younger sibling has a severe speech and language disability : research

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1994-3032
  • E-ISSN: 1999-7671



Typically developing children who have a younger sibling with a disability often feel inadequately supported and excluded from family interactions. However, early intervention programmes often use family activities and routines as intervention settings. Siblings' negative attitudes towards participation in such activities may therefore hamper intercession efforts.

To determine the attitudes of typically developing children toward their younger siblings with severe speech and language disabilities in four everyday life situations identified by the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children and Youth Version, namely communication, domestic life, interpersonal interaction and relationships, and major life areas.
An adapted structured interview format was used to determine the attitude of the 27 participants, 6- to 10-year-old typically developing South Africans.
Typically developing peers were most positive towards participation in play activities with their sibling with a disability. They were also positive towards participation in household tasks. They were less positive towards communication participation and least positive about participation in interpersonal relationships. A significant difference between certain components of attitudes was reported for three of the four domains.
The attitudes of typically developing children are generally positive towards participating with their younger siblings with severe speech and language disabilities. These results can be used to select activities for activity-based interventions and to guide interventions aimed at supporting the siblings of children with disabilities.

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