The Impact Of Parental Involvement On Language Development In Early Intervention Programs For Toddlers With Speech And Language Delays

A child’s development requires parental guidance from birth. When parents are active in their children’s education, it can benefit their growth. Research indicates that parental influence has a significant role in a child’s speech acquisition. The four dimensions of language development that are influenced by parent-child interactions are the level of interaction between parents and children, how parents respond to their speech, the amount and caliber of language knowledge learned, and the application of learning techniques. A child’s development depends on parental participation. Examples include asking about and helping with schoolwork, attending school-related events, and discussing their child’s accomplishments with instructors.

Independent Variable: Parental Involvement

Parental participation is a crucial independent variable in early intervention programs for kids with speech and language impairments. The extent to which parents actively engage in numerous facets of their child’s intervention journey is encapsulated in this intricate notion. The first benefit of treatment attendance is that it indicates the time and effort parents devote to their child’s growth and development (Holzinger et al., 2020). Caregivers actively participating in these sessions get firsthand exposure to therapeutic approaches and build cooperative relationships with interventionists.

Parental involvement goes beyond treatment sessions and includes activities at home. This aspect entails incorporating intervention strategies into the child’s regular activities to provide consistent and motivating linguistic stimulation in the comfort of their own home. Establishing a dynamic feedback loop between parents and professionals is facilitated by communication with interventionists, which is seen as another essential element. Consistent communication allows parents to discuss difficulties, review their child’s development, and seek advice on using specific tactics outside scheduled sessions. Setting goals also puts parents in a position to actively contribute to the developmental roadmap by aligning intervention goals with family values and priorities (Holzinger et al., 2020). This study intends to uncover the complex effects of caregiver engagement on the language development trajectories of infants receiving early treatments by breaking down parental participation into three essential components.

Dependent Variable: Language Development

The dependent variable in this research, language development, represents the complex advancements and improvements in a child’s language skills across vocabulary, grammar, and communication. Language development becomes crucial when infants with speech and language impairments start early intervention programs because it affects their future communication ability and general well-being. This complex concept is measured using a thorough methodology incorporating qualitative observations, standardized language exams, and insightful information from parent-reported communication improvements.

Standardized language tests provide a methodical and impartial appraisal of a child’s language proficiency, acting as a quantitative yardstick (Walker et al., 2020). The efficacy of intervention measures may be evaluated quantitatively using these tests, which are intended to measure different language qualities. Qualitative observations add to the quantitative rigor by enhancing our comprehension of the subtleties in a child’s language development. These insights contextualize development in real-world situations outside of formal evaluations by capturing the nuances of communication.

Control Variable: Initial Language Delay Severity

The degree of speech and language impairment in a kid at the start of the intervention is the control variable in this study, called beginning language delay severity. Because children enrolled in early intervention programs exhibit natural diversity in the degree of delays, this control variable becomes extremely important for maintaining the study’s internal validity (Holzinger et al., 2020). To separate the effects of the dependent variable (language development) and the independent variable (parental engagement) from the baseline condition, the research measures and controls the initial degree of language delay in an organized manner.

Its ability to reduce confounding variables that might affect the observed results makes the initial language delay severity a crucial control variable. Early intervention programs may influence a child’s reaction to treatments based on the different degrees of severity of the child’s language delay. It is possible to assess the precise contributions of parental engagement to language development with greater precision when this heterogeneity is considered (Walker et al., 2020). Rather than blaming the whole observed effect on the intrinsic severity of the initial language delay, it enables researchers to assign some degree of credit to the caregiver involvement and therapy tactics.


Holzinger, D., Dall, M., Sanduvete-Chaves, S., Saldana, D., Chacon-Moscoso, S., & Fellinger, J. (2020). The impact of family environment on children’s language development with cochlear implants: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ear and hearing41(5), 1077-1091.

Walker, D., Sepulveda, S. J., Hoff, E., Rowe, M. L., Schwartz, I. S., Dale, P. S., … & Bigelow, K. M. (2020). Language intervention research in early childhood care and education: A systematic literature survey. Early Childhood Research Quarterly50, 68-85.

The Role Of Assessment In Special Education

Assessment is crucial in special education, guiding personalized learning programs for each student. Traditional standardized testing has many drawbacks for varied learners. Overreliance on standardized testing should have accounted for kids’ unique skills and growth in my 1980s education. In recent decades, evaluation reform has stressed thorough, student-centered assessments. Assessment literacy helps educators to make ethical, evidence-based decisions, creating inclusive learning environments.

Assessment Literacy Provides a Foundation for Special Education

Assessment literacy requires a thorough understanding of assessment tools and methods for children with varying learning needs. This helps special education teachers assess ethically and effectively and use results to improve student outcomes. Assessment-literate educators use exams to create Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) with each student’s goals, supports, and services. The student, parents, general education instructors, special education teachers, and other experts work together to create IEP plans based on assessment results showing the student’s strengths, needs, and learning styles (Assessments in Education, 2016).

In addition to IEP development, assessment-literate exceptional education instructors administer formative and summative tests. Quizzes and exit tickets give instructors real-time feedback on student progress. Summative assessments such as unit examinations and final projects evaluate learning following instruction (Formative and Summative Assessment, 2020). Using multiple evaluations helps teachers track progress, identify gaps, and improve teaching.

Assessment literacy also allows coordination with speech, occupational, and school psychologists to understand learning aspects. IEP teams can provide comprehensive, personalized support with multiple assessment lenses (Assessments in Education, 2016). Parents and guardians can understand assessment processes, results, and implications from assessment-literate educators. Teachers empower families to participate in student education by effectively communicating technical information and forming partnerships (TOP 10 TERMS, 2020).

Assessment literacy also improves instructors’ data interpretation, limitation consideration, and ethical, evidence-based, student-centered judgments. This ensures assessment fairness and impartiality (Assessments in Education, 2016). Assessment literacy allows special education teachers to use assessments to understand various learners’ needs, change instruction, and create inclusive learning environments where all children achieve.

Reflecting on the Impacts of Standardized Testing

My 1980s private school upbringing showed me the downsides of overemphasizing standardized testing. This concentrated focus on exam achievement affected more than academics. The school relied heavily on standardized exam scores to measure progress. These scores, touted as an objective measure of aptitude, drove essential decisions about students’ futures (NEA, 2020). Teachers and kids were stressed to get good test results in this high-stakes setting.

Standardized assessments are needed to reflect students’ diverse skills and learning styles. The testing regime ignored students’ strengths in non-traditional academic areas like creative writing and the arts (NEA, 2020). Students who excelled through alternate expression found the situation difficult. The focus on testing divided students, with less test-savvy ones seen as floundering. This disregard for learning styles made capable pupils feel inferior. The experience emphasizes the need for holistic appraisals of kids’ strengths.

Stressful testing affected students’ emotional health as well as academic achievement. Constant pressure lowered students’ self-esteem and anxiety. Students’ growth and life skills were neglected as test preparation took precedence (NEA, 2020). This stressed the necessity for a balanced, student-centered assessment.

Progress in Advancing Assessment Practices

Education reform has raised awareness of standardized testing issues and taken promising moves to improve assessment literacy and inclusiveness in recent decades. Educators have been trained in assessment literacy better to grasp evaluation aims, techniques, and ethics. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Top 10 Terms handbook helps teachers use data effectively to improve instruction and serve diverse learners (TOP 10 TERMS, 2020).

Updated laws like the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) encourage comprehensive assessments of student success, including academic competency, growth, graduation rates, and English language proficiency. This holistic approach solves the drawbacks of standardized testing (Assessments in Education, 2016). Through Universal Design for Learning, inclusive assessment design has gained prominence. UDL-aligned exams allow students to demonstrate knowledge without disabilities, language hurdles, or other barriers by allowing flexibility in methods, resources, and scheduling (exams in Education, 2016). While assessment literacy and inclusivity need improvement, these approaches help instructors better understand children. This allows teachers to tailor assessments to students’ needs and skills.


Assessment literacy is essential in special education for ethical, student-centered evaluation. Standardized examinations were flawed in serving various learners, but assessment methods have been improved to be more comprehensive and inclusive. Special education teachers can use data to design tailored learning plans, evaluate student growth, coordinate assistance, and enable every student to thrive with good assessment literacy.


Assessments in Education [Video]. (2016, March 3). YouTube.

Formative and Summative Assessment [Video]. (2020, August 18). YouTube.

National Education Association. (2020, June 25). History of standardized testing in the United States. National Education Association | NEA.

TOP 10 TERMS: Data & Assessment Literacy. (2020, October). Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction |.

The Westernization Of Meiji Japan: Effects On Men’s Clothing

Japan had existed for centuries, closed from the world, all credited to its military leadership, Tokugawa Shogunate, which had been in charge of the country since the early 1600s. The military leadership left the Japanese Emperor without control over its affairs. Western ships continually interacted with China as the country maintained isolation, frequently asking for supplies through Japanese ports. To maintain Japan’s control, the Shogunate declared death to any person who would aid foreigners. However, due to its decaying democracy, a weakened feudal system and its increasing interaction with Western technology, the Japanese wanted to change, and, in 1867, inspired by a young Japanese communicating its benefits, began the Meiji Restoration. The Emperor’s leadership role was restored, and he was referred to as the Meiji. While the restoration transformed Japan through Western education, communication and mechanization, a significant and swift change was in its clothing culture, primarily among the men, who, from wearing kimonos, embraced trousers, shirts and accessories.

Before the Meiji era was the Edo era between 1603 and 1868, where the Tokugawa Shogunate, due to Japan’s peace and stability, required men to wear presentable clothing. The kimono, the Japanese main attire, was elegant and, with a specific art form, was worn as a show of status and power. As wealth spread throughout Japan, fashion changed, and embroidery incorporated multiple colours and asymmetric designs derived from famous artists and theatre costumes. The kimonos during the Edo era were loosely worn, had soft shoulders and were accessorized with obi belts (Chung 15). Also resembling a jacket type, the kimonos had wide sleeves, and a cord joined their ends. Nonetheless, after the Meiji Restoration, Japan emerged as modern, robust and industrialized, taking influence from the West. With the change, Japan started wearing new clothing because government officials and their wives were expected to wear Western-style dresses at work and on formal occasions. The uptake of Western clothing, also called Yofuku, prompted the Emperor to shorten his hair and eliminate his moustache.

Men’s clothing changed significantly before and after the Meiji restoration due to their increasing desire to fit in with the Western civilization. Since the 1600s, the Japanese were already famous for weaving silk and fabric in different styles and at different societal levels. The male nobility’s clothes were different from the ordinary people, whereby the latter wore loose, oversized shirts and broad trousers. Both were tied with a rope at the waist. Contrastingly, the nobles’ trousers were longer, and the upper part entailed long sleeves that they also tied at the waist and wore over their heads. The nobility’s clothing was also white, representing their divine origin, but their other standard clothing colours were blue, grey and black. More clothing included Hakamas and kimonos, the former being wide trousers resembling skirts, sewn from thick fabrics with slight fold gathers (Pohl 54). To date, the kimonos are still worn on special occasions. Further, the traditional clothing comprised footwear: tabi, geta and zori. Tabi were socks made from leather and dense materials, divided at the toe with a sleeve on the big toe. In contrast, geta were flip flops made of wood, decorated with embroidery and ornaments, while zori was simpler footwear made from rice straw, reeds and bamboo.

After the Meiji era, the Japanese changed their clothing to fit the Western influence. By the 1880s, men had already adopted a new fashion, and while they still wore the kimono, they started wearing new clothes, often in formal events. By 1890, men had started wearing suits but combined kimonos with Western accessories. As an illustration, on occasions, men wore Western-style hats with hakama and walking sticks. Kimonos with bold patterns and flashy colours also emerged, resembling Western styles. The main reason Japan chose to become Western was how they viewed the new clothing as a form of enlightenment and civilization, and the influence was visible in the uniform designs the country adopted for the government agencies (Zhang 5). Due to Japan’s desire to demonstrate modernity to Western nations, its workers deliberately adopted new clothing to symbolize their new civilization.

The Japanese widely accepted clothing inspired by Western nations such that, in 1873, the Emperor and his partner wore a pair of trousers, a military coat and a long Victorian gown and gloves, respectively. The Emperor also had a Western haircut. The police officers also started wearing long coats, belts, shakos and leather, matching the West. Also, the citizens admired people who dressed according to Western culture. They considered a man wearing a chain, a gold watch, carrying an umbrella and with a Western haircut, considered them the picture of enlightenment (Zhang 6). The men were considered more admirable when sitting in the new Western restaurants. Moreover, those still wearing kimonos adopted chemical dyes and Art Noveau, a popular European pictorial style, filling them with vivid colours and beautiful curves.

However, as men adopted Western fashion, a small portion was against it, regarding the changes as Japan became a sell-out. While most Japanese thought it necessary to adopt Western culture to become a part of the modern world, others were concerned that they were losing their traditions. Adopting new ways would make it challenging for Japan to create a sense of national identity, that modernization meant Westernization, and that it could not become industrialized and modern without losing its sense of self. Moreover, it was expensive for Japan to make the changes in clothing, compelling the government to develop new revenue sources. Since a significant part of its economy was agricultural, it raised taxes on a percentage of the produce. The farmers were introduced to new farming methods to boost their yields (Ohno 90). The anti-Western Japanese were adamant and relentless, such that they assassinated their fellow citizens adapting to the changes. As an illustration, a man returning to Japan from an American trip was told to abandon his umbrella to avoid getting into conflict with the anti-westerners.

Overall, the Japanese were keen on adopting Western clothing because they considered it a form of enlightenment and civilization. From their traditional kimonos and Hakamas, the Japanese male clothing changed in a few years, such that the Emperor and empress adopted it in their official portraits. The Japanese were actively interested in Westernization because of the external pressure from countries that were already civilized. For example, having witnessed China facing humiliation from Britain for trying to prevent it from selling opium, Japan did not want to feel helpless. Hence, they had to reach their level to strengthen themselves and stand up to the Western power. Regardless of the backlash from some Japanese who were against Westernization, the Meiji Restoration was a complete transformation, industrializing it and catapulting it into the modern world.

Works Cited

Chung, Sylvia. “Exhibition Catalog on Rediscovering the Fashion of Hanboks and Kimonos: The Tale of Kisaengs and Geishas.” 2019: 1–57.

Ohno, Kenichi. “Meiji Japan: Progressive learning of Western technology.” How nations learn: Technological learning, industrial policy, and catch-up 2019: 85–106.

Pohl, Olga. “Textile industry in Imperial Japan and Western influence on Japanese clothing.” Kultura i Historia. 2019: 50–64.

Zhang, Harry. “Kittenish Appearance:” Western Fashion in Meiji Japan.” Gettysburg College Headquarters 2.1 2023: 1–19.