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INREAL Intervention For Language Handicapped And Bilingual Children

Rita S. Weiss

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INREAL was an HCEEP-funded demonstration model project from 1974-77. The major goal of the project was to improve the language and related leaming skills of 3 to 5-year-old language handicapped and bilingual (Spanish) children by a naturalistic, nonstigmatizing method. A second goal was to redefine the traditional, instructive role of the speech-language pathologist who works with preschool and kindergarten children. Three procedures were used to evaluate the major objectives of the program: (a) experimental study to measure language development, (b) longitudinal experimental study to measure the effectiveness of early identifcation and intervention in prevention of later language-related leaming problems, and (c) cost effectiveness study of longitudinal data to demonstrate efficacy. These procedures were applied to the total subject pool and to the bilingual (Spanish) subject population. Third year (1976-77) results on matched experimental and control groups show that INREAL intervention effects highly significant language improvement in the experimental (INREAL) groups. The longitudinal data, gathered for three years (1977-80) after the INREAL intervention program had ended, show that use of the INREAL method at the preschool and kindergarten level results in the need for substantially fewer follow-up remedial services (remedial reading, speech-language pathology, and leaming disabilities) and fewer retention-in-grade placements.