Semin Speech Lang 2024; 45(02): 121-136
DOI: 10.1055/s-0044-1779653
Clinical Seminar: Pediatric

Addressing Parental Gatekeeping in Early-Intervention Services: Engaging all Caregivers

1   Child Development and Family Relations, University of Maine, Orono, Maine
Jane Puhlman
2   Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Maine, Orono, Maine
› Author Affiliations


The successful implementation of early interventions (EIs) within families is crucial in mitigating language and developmental delays in young children. Considering that language acquisition primarily occurs through interactions between caregivers and children, parental involvement plays a significant role in EI services. Working within families where one parent interferes with the involvement of the child's other parent or caregiver can be challenging for service providers. This article examines parental gatekeeping—a concept from the family science literature that can have a significant impact on services provided by speech language pathologists (SLPs). We outline and provide examples of family dynamics that may pose challenges to SLPs working with young children and their families as well as provide strategies for effectively navigating and working within these dynamics.

Publication History

Article published online:
05 February 2024

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