Well-Being and Resilience in Children With Speech and Language Disorders Purpose Children with speech and language disorders are at risk in relation to psychological and social well-being. The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of these children from their own perspectives focusing on risks to their well-being and protective indicators that may promote resilience. Method ... Research Article
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Research Article  |   February 15, 2018
Well-Being and Resilience in Children With Speech and Language Disorders
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Rena Lyons
    Discipline of Speech & Language Therapy, National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Sue Roulstone
    University of the West of England, Bristol
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Rena Lyons: rena.lyons@nuigalway.ie
  • Editor: Sean Redmond
    Editor: Sean Redmond×
  • Associate Editor: Geralyn Timler
    Associate Editor: Geralyn Timler×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / School-Based Settings / Language Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 15, 2018
Well-Being and Resilience in Children With Speech and Language Disorders
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 324-344. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0391
History: Received October 7, 2016 , Revised March 10, 2017 , Accepted August 3, 2017
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2018, Vol. 61, 324-344. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-L-16-0391
History: Received October 7, 2016; Revised March 10, 2017; Accepted August 3, 2017

Purpose Children with speech and language disorders are at risk in relation to psychological and social well-being. The aim of this study was to understand the experiences of these children from their own perspectives focusing on risks to their well-being and protective indicators that may promote resilience.

Method Eleven 9- to 12-year-old children (4 boys and 7 girls) were recruited using purposeful sampling. One participant presented with a speech sound disorder, 1 presented with both a speech and language disorder, and 9 with language disorders. All were receiving additional educational supports. Narrative inquiry, a qualitative design, was employed. Data were generated in home and school settings using multiple semi-structured interviews with each child over a 6-month period. A total of 59 interviews were conducted. The data were analyzed to identify themes in relation to potential risk factors to well-being and protective strategies.

Results Potential risk factors in relation to well-being were communication impairment and disability, difficulties with relationships, and concern about academic achievement. Potential protective strategies were hope, agency, and positive relationships.

Conclusion This study highlights the importance of listening to children's narratives so that those at risk in relation to well-being can be identified. Conceptualization of well-being and resilience within an ecological framework may enable identification of protective strategies at both individual and environmental levels that can be strengthened to mitigate negative experiences.

Speech, language, and communication disorders are relatively common in childhood, with prevalence rates ranging from 7% to 12% depending on the age groups studied, as well as the criteria and cutoff points applied (McLeod & McKinnon, 2007; Tomblin et al., 1997). Norbury et al. (2016)  conducted a recent population study and found that on school entry, two children in a class of 30 will experience language disorder severe enough to affect academic progress. The term speech and language disorders will be used in this article as an umbrella term to refer to children who present with either speech sound disorder or language disorder or both that occur in the absence of other developmental disorders or overt learning difficulties. In a recent multinational study, the term developmental language disorder was endorsed when the language disorder was not associated with a known biomedical etiology (Bishop, Snowling, Thompson, Greenhalgh, & CATALISE-2 consortium, 2016). There is evidence to suggest that speech and language disorders may be long-term conditions and that the well-being of children may be compromised in academic, psychological, and social domains (Feeney, Desha, Ziviani, & Nicholson, 2012; Lindsay, Dockrell, & Strand, 2007; McCormack, Harrison, McLeod, & McAllister, 2011; St. Clair, Pickles, Durkin, & Conti-Ramsden, 2011). However, not all children with speech and language disorders experience negative outcomes. For example, Roulstone and Lindsay (2012)  found that, although some children reported difficulties in social and emotional domains, some also reported that many aspects of their lives were good. In light of these varied outcomes, the social model of disability and the construct of resilience are relevant for this cohort of children because they may experience adversity both because of their communication impairments and potential social marginalization.
There are differing views regarding the relative roles of an initial impairment and of society in leading to disability (Finkelstein, 2004; Shakespeare, 2006; Soffer & Almog-Bar, 2016; Thomas, 2004). Finkelstein (2004), one of the original proponents of the social model of disability, claimed that disability is a form of oppression and that societal barriers (e.g., physical and attitudinal) restricted activities and participation for disabled people. However, others disagree and argue that impairment also plays a role in restricting activities and participation (Shakespeare, 2006; Thomas, 2004). For example, Thomas (2004)  claimed that disability resulted from both impairment and barriers and argued that restrictions to activities and participation stemmed from impairment effects, barriers to doing and barriers to being. Indeed, Anastasiou and Kauffman (2013, p. 454) argue as follows:

What is needed is a unified and multidimensional understanding of disabilities, clarifying the relationship among the biological and cultural, individual and social, psychological and behavioral, intrinsic and external factors affecting the lives of people without eliminating one of these levels of analysis.

This view is supported by emerging evidence that children with speech and language disorders attributed some restrictions in activities and participation to themselves and other restrictions to societal barriers (Connors & Stalker, 2007; McCormack, McLeod, McAllister, & Harrison, 2010; Merrick & Roulstone, 2011). Therefore, within a social model of disability framework, risks to the well-being of children with speech and language disorders may arise from a range of factors, such as potential negative feelings associated with having a communication disability and difficulties related to social inclusion.
In terms of social inclusion, evidence is mixed regarding children with speech and language disorders. For example, it is not clear whether or not these children are more at risk in relation to bullying. Sweeting and West (2001)  found that 14% of 11-year-old children, in a sample of 2,237, reported that they were bullied or teased on a regular basis as compared with 39% of children with speech problems. Redmond (2011)  cautions that the term speech difficulties may have been used as an umbrella term for a range of communication difficulties. Some researchers found that children with specific language impairment (SLI) were at increased risk of bullying (Conti-Ramsden & Botting, 2004; Knox & Conti-Ramsden, 2003, 2007; Redmond, 2011). In other studies, the prevalence rates for bullying in 12-year-old children with a history of SLI were no higher than for typically developing children and children with special educational needs (Lindsay, Dockrell, & Mackie, 2008; Lindsay et al., 2007). These conflicting findings may result from different definitions of bullying and measurement tools. The effects of bullying are less well understood, but there is evidence to suggest that those who are bullied at age 16 years have an increased risk of depression at 17 years (Wadman, Botting, Durkin, & Conti-Ramsden, 2011). There is also mixed evidence in relation to peer relationships, with some researchers reporting that children with SLI are at risk of having poorer quality friendships than peers (Brinton, Fujiki, & Robinson, 2005; Durkin & Conti-Ramsden, 2007; Fujiki, Brinton, Isaacson, & Summers, 2001; Redmond, 2011) and others reporting that not all children with SLI have difficulties making friends (Durkin & Conti-Ramsden, 2007; Laws, Bates, Feuerstein, Mason-Apps, & White, 2012). This is probably not surprising given the heterogeneous nature of language disorder, how friendships are defined and measured, and different reporting agents, such as parents, teachers, or children themselves. Children with speech sound disorders may also be at risk in relation to peer relationships (McCormack et al., 2011; McLeod, Daniel, & Barr, 2013).
Little is known about ways in which children navigate and cope with these potentially adverse experiences. Furthermore, the impact of these experiences on children's well-being is unclear. It is important that children at risk in relation to well-being can be identified so that supports can be put in place as early as possible to reduce potential long-term effects. This requires a deeper understanding of the everyday experiences and coping strategies used by children with speech and language disorders from their own perspectives. These data could shape the support that could be offered to children and families.
Conceptualizing Well-Being and Resilience
Well-being in children is a multidimensional construct that has been defined both in objective terms (e.g., through use of medical records, infant death rates, and measures, such as poverty) and subjective terms (e.g., children's own conceptualization of well-being; Pollard & Lee, 2003). For example, Fattore, Mason, and Watson (2006)  found that children defined well-being in terms of feeling good about one's self, the absence of psychological distress, the presence of positive affective states (e.g., happiness and contentment), and integrating sadness with happiness. Researchers have also shown that children and adults may conceptualize well-being in different ways. In a study of the meaning of child well-being from the perspectives of typically developing children, parents, and teachers, Sixsmith, Nic Gabhainn, Fleming, and O'Higgins (2007)  found that children valued relationships with family, friends, and pets as important aspects of well-being; whereas, parents and teachers placed more emphasis on other aspects of well-being, such as health, the ability to express emotions, and school. These findings are echoed in two studies that explored determinants of quality of life from the perspectives of parents, professionals, and children with speech, language, and communication needs (Markham & Dean, 2006; Markham, van Laar, Gibbard, & Dean, 2009). Although there were common denominators in what the parents and children considered were important determinants of quality of life, there were also differences. For example, the theme of relaxation strategies emerged in the children's data but not in the data generated with parents and professionals. Well-being is often measured using quality-of-life instruments, which measure constructs, such as physical, psychological, and social functioning (Gomersall et al., 2015). There is evidence to suggest that children with speech and language disorders may be at risk in relation to well-being in psychological and social domains as measured on these instruments (Dockrell, Lindsay, Roulstone, & Law, 2014; Feeney et al., 2012).
Resilience is defined as a process of adaptation when children are exposed to adverse conditions and has been conceptualized in terms of risk and protective factors (Ungar, 2015). Ungar (2015)  argues that resilience can be conceptualized within an ecological model, whereby resilience is determined both by the individual's capacity and by the capacity of their social ecologies (e.g., home, school, and social contexts) to facilitate them to cope in appropriate ways (see Ungar, 2015  for a full review). This ecological conceptualization of resilience is consistent with the social model of disability proposed by Thomas (2004)  because it includes consideration of factors both at an individual level and a wider societal level. Risk refers to ways in which exposure to adversity may impact on well-being, and this impact may be influenced by the severity and chronicity of the risk. However, children can have positive outcomes despite adversity, and it is important to identify protective factors that help children to overcome adversity. Some of these protective factors include both individual traits, such as temperament, autonomy (ability to act independently, locus of control and agency), problem-solving skills, a sense of purpose, belief in a bright future, and social capital (positive relationships; Ungar, 2015; Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). Zolkoski and Bullock (2012)  argue that resilience theory focuses on strengths rather than deficits and aims to understand positive outcomes in the face of adversity. Much of the published literature on childhood speech and language disorders has been focused on deficit. There has been little research that has been framed within the social model framework or with a focus on resilience in this cohort of children. Therefore, it is important to understand the lived experiences of children, both positive and negative, across a range of contexts with different people in order to complement what is already known from quality-of-life studies. This understanding has the potential to inform speech and language pathology assessment and intervention. It is important that coping and protective strategies, both at an individual and social network level, can be identified and that there is a move toward a strengths-based approach to serving children and families.
Importance of Children's Perspectives
The voice of children with speech and language disorders is largely absent in the literature. However, when researchers take the ontological position that children are social actors, they are obligated to listen directly to children's own perspectives (Christensen, 2004; Tisdall, Davis, & Gallagher, 2009). According to Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (United Nations, 1989), children have the right to express their views on all matters affecting their lives, in accordance with their age and maturity. Therefore, it is important to listen directly to children's own perspectives and to respect these perspectives as valid. This absence of the children's voice is reflected in the fact that many quality-of-life measures use parent–proxy reports (Feeney et al., 2012). Although some researchers report similarities across child self-report measures and parent–proxy report measures of quality of life in children with SLI (Kristy & Watter, 2015), proxy reports can be problematic because of differences between parental and children's perspectives (Gomersall et al., 2015). Therefore, Goldbart and Marshall (2011)  argue that interpretations of children's feelings and views by proxies need to be validated.
A second gap in our knowledge about the lives of children with speech and language disorders is that quality-of-life measures tend to focus on individual factors rather than social and environmental factors and tell us little about how children cope with potential stressors (de Chavez, Backett-Milburn, Parry, & Platt, 2005). Ecological models, such as that of Bronfenbrenner (1979)  and the social model of disability, represent the interrelationships between children and their environments. Indeed, the child can be construed within a set of social contexts, with different environments influencing the child's development as a series of “nested spheres” (McLeod et al., 2013, p. 71). For example, there is evidence to suggest that the impact of children's speech and language disorders on activities and relationships may be less obvious in the home context as compared with the public context (McLeod et al., 2013; Sylvestre, Brisson, Lepage, Nadeau, & Deaudelin, 2016) and that children and others (e.g., parents, teachers, siblings, and teachers) may construe language disorder in different ways (Hambly, 2014). Therefore, Wessells (2015, p. 18) argues that it is necessary to understand children's subjective perceptions of their experiences, both positive and negative, in order to gain insights into ways in which they make sense of these experiences.

Children…are not passive victims but active makers of meaning who interpret adversity using lenses that practitioners need to understand.

Methods for Listening to Children's Perspectives
The use of qualitative research methods is one way of exploring children's experiences. Qualitative research has been defined as a way of “studying the ways people experience their world” (Given, 2016, p. 2). Narrative inquiry is a specific type of qualitative research, which is underpinned by the premise that narrative is a fundamental way of making sense of reality (Bruner, 1986; Sarbin, 1986). Narrative inquiry shares some of the philosophical underpinnings of other qualitative methodologies. For example, the epistemology underpinning narrative inquiry is interpretivist, whereby truth is considered multiple and constructed by different people in different ways (Finlay, 2006; Greene & Hill, 2005; Hodge, 2008). Narratives can be construed as a primary way of making emotional sense of unexpected turn of events and of creating meaning (Bonsall, 2012; Park, 2008). Narratives have the potential to provide insights into well-being for a number of reasons. For example, narratives can provide insights into the narrator's perspective or stance (Bruner, 1986; Sakiyama, Josephsson, & Asaba, 2010). Labov and Waletzky (1967)  argued that narratives have two functions: that is, a reference function which relates information to the listener and an evaluative function which tells the listener something about what the events meant to the narrator. Therefore, narratives may reflect the narrator's stance (Kleres, 2010; Maybin, 2006; Peterson & McCabe, 1983). Fivush (1993, p. 44) stated the following:

Evaluation provides the emotional tone and texture of an experience. The evaluation informs both the listener and the self what the personal meaning of this particular event is.

The evaluative dimension of narratives emerges out of a range of linguistic devices and plot structures that speakers use to communicate the point of the story (see Table 1). By analyzing these linguistic devices, researchers can gain insight into the emotional tone of an experience and what it meant to the speaker (Peterson & Biggs, 2001). Furthermore, Gergen and Gergen (1986)  argue that there are three narrative plot structures that represent the narrator's perspective on the event: progressive narratives, which have positive outcomes; stable narratives, whereby there is a status quo; and regressive narratives, where there is deterioration in circumstances. Although the concept of narratives is familiar to speech-language pathologists, the focus in narrative inquiry is on biographical insights, which are provided through narratives of personal experiences (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000), and the units of analysis are story structure and content. In a recent report for the World Health Organization, Greenhalgh (2016)  argues that narratives can complement other forms of evidence and enhance understandings of the cultural context of health.
Table 1. Examples of evaluative devices.
Examples of evaluative devices.×
Examples of evaluative devices References
Agency, active/passive voice, verbs of compulsion, such as “had to,” grammatical limiters of agency “just” Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Emotion words (e.g., “sad”) Fairclough (2001); Kleres (2010) 
Repeating words for emphasis, evaluative nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (e.g., “finally”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Modes, such as declarative and imperatives Fairclough (2001) 
Coherence and causal connections (e.g., “and” and “because”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Negatives because they provide insight into the speaker's expectations (e.g., “he did not see his friend at school”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Prosodic features (e.g., emphatic stress)
Direct speech (e.g., “he said don't do that”)
Table 1. Examples of evaluative devices.
Examples of evaluative devices.×
Examples of evaluative devices References
Agency, active/passive voice, verbs of compulsion, such as “had to,” grammatical limiters of agency “just” Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Emotion words (e.g., “sad”) Fairclough (2001); Kleres (2010) 
Repeating words for emphasis, evaluative nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (e.g., “finally”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Modes, such as declarative and imperatives Fairclough (2001) 
Coherence and causal connections (e.g., “and” and “because”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Negatives because they provide insight into the speaker's expectations (e.g., “he did not see his friend at school”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Prosodic features (e.g., emphatic stress)
Direct speech (e.g., “he said don't do that”)
×
In summary, there is evidence to suggest that the well-being of children with speech and language disorders may be compromised, particularly with regard to psychosocial and emotional well-being. It is necessary to listen directly to children themselves in order to gain insights into their experiences and potential risk and protective strategies. The aim of this study was to explore the emotional tone of children's stories about their experiences in order to gain insights into subjective well-being and potential protective strategies. The research questions for this study were as follows:
  1. How did children with speech and language disorders talk about their everyday experiences?

  2. What did their evaluations suggest in relation to potential risks to well-being and protective strategies?

Method
Narrative inquiry was used in this study because it is underpinned by the theory that narrative can be construed as an organizer of human experience (Mattingly, 1998) and that individuals lead storied lives (Clandinin & Connelly, 2000). Furthermore, paying close attention to linguistic and evaluative markers in narratives may be a useful methodology for exploring children's well-being and emotional stance in relation to their experiences. The authors followed the Consolidated Criteria for Reporting Qualitative Research (Tong, Sainsbury, & Craig, 2007).
Participants
A purposeful sampling strategy with sequential enrollment was used to recruit 11 participants with speech and language disorders. The aim of the sampling strategy was to obtain variation in the sample so that multiple perspectives could be explored (e.g., gender, type of speech and language disorder, socioeconomic status, and experience of specialist education supports). For the purposes of this study, socioeconomic status was determined by whether or not the children lived in areas designated as disadvantaged under the Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development program (An Pobal, 2012). The criteria for disadvantage in this context included levels of early school leaving, the proportion of one parent households, the unemployment rate, the proportion of social housing, and the age dependency rate. Ethical approval was obtained through the University of the West of England. Speech-language pathologists in one geographical area were requested to distribute information sheets and consent forms to potential participants. Participants were eligible for inclusion in the study when they were between the ages of 9 and 12 years old and met the criteria for “specific language disorder” as specified by the Department of Education and Science (DES; 2005), that is, nonverbal ability was in the average or above average range and a score of 2 SDs below the norm in one or more areas on speech or language tests. In the DES context, these speech and language disorders were considered the primary problem and were not secondary to other conditions, such as autism, learning disability, or sensory impairment. When children met these criteria, they were eligible for specialist education supports, which included resource teaching (i.e., 4 hr of one-on-one teaching per week in the child's own mainstream school) or placement in a specialist speech and language class (DES, 2007). These classes are located in mainstream schools and have a reduced pupil–teacher ratio of 7:1 with speech and language pathology provision. There are a small number of classes in each geographical area, and children typically travel to attend these classes on a full-time basis for a 1- or 2-year period. A further criterion for inclusion in the study was that children were either currently attending or had attended speech-language pathology in the past 2 years. Thus, participants had met the DES criteria for specific speech and language disorder at the point of their admission to the special provision.
In total, 44 participants were identified by speech-language pathologists as meeting the inclusion criteria, and information about the research was distributed to these families. Eleven participants were recruited sequentially as they expressed interest in participating in the research. The sample included seven girls and four boys aged 9–12 years. One of the children presented with a speech sound disorder, one presented with both a speech and language disorder, and nine presented with language disorders. Ten of the 11 children were or had attended a specialist speech and language classes, and one family had declined the offer of a place. For the purposes of this study, it was not necessary to collect data about the children's scores on speech and language tests or confirm their diagnoses because we were satisfied that they presented with “specific speech and language disorders” if they met the DES (2005)  criteria. Three of the children lived in areas designated as socially disadvantaged (see Table 2 for an overall profile of participants).
Table 2. Profile of participants.
Profile of participants.×
Participant Age in years Diagnosis made by speech-language pathology service Education placement during data collection (May–December) Number of interviews
Amy 10 Language disorder Moved to language class from local school. 5
Blade 11 Language disorder Returned to local school in September, having spent 2 years in the language class. 5
Chantelle 10 Language disorder Moved from third to fourth grade in the language class. 5
Dawn 11 Language disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in the language class. 6
Enda 9 Language disorder Attended local school. His family declined a place in the language class. 5
Hannah 9 Language disorder Returned to local school after 2 years in the language class. 6
Kevin 11 Speech sound disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in his local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Torres 10 Speech sound and language disorder Moved from third to fourth class in local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Mary 12 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Dawn (2) 11 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Sara 11 Language disorder Moved from fifth to sixth grade and was attending local school. Had attended the language class. 5
Table 2. Profile of participants.
Profile of participants.×
Participant Age in years Diagnosis made by speech-language pathology service Education placement during data collection (May–December) Number of interviews
Amy 10 Language disorder Moved to language class from local school. 5
Blade 11 Language disorder Returned to local school in September, having spent 2 years in the language class. 5
Chantelle 10 Language disorder Moved from third to fourth grade in the language class. 5
Dawn 11 Language disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in the language class. 6
Enda 9 Language disorder Attended local school. His family declined a place in the language class. 5
Hannah 9 Language disorder Returned to local school after 2 years in the language class. 6
Kevin 11 Speech sound disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in his local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Torres 10 Speech sound and language disorder Moved from third to fourth class in local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Mary 12 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Dawn (2) 11 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Sara 11 Language disorder Moved from fifth to sixth grade and was attending local school. Had attended the language class. 5
×
The sample size is typical of narrative research studies because there is a trade-off between sample size and depth of analysis (Greenhalgh, 2016). The aim was not to generalize findings, as is the case in quantitative studies, but to explore the depth rather than the breadth of individual experiences. Therefore, multiple interviews (five and six) were conducted with each child. Data saturation can be difficult to achieve in narrative inquiry because there is always potential for new stories to emerge. We aimed to generate sufficient data to answer the research questions and were mindful of not placing too many demands on the children's time.
Procedure
The children selected their own pseudonyms. The first author, an experienced speech-language pathologist and researcher who did not know any of the participants, conducted semi-structured interviews with the participants that typically lasted between 45 min and 1 hr. Parents and children were offered choices about where the interviews would be held, with the majority selecting their homes (n = 7). A flexible topic guide was generated following a pilot study with three children with speech and language disorders (see Supplemental Material S1). The topic guide included open-ended questions about events, happenings, and relationships in different contexts, such as home, school, and leisure contexts. The flexibility of this topic guide provided scope for the participants' ideas to come to the surface (Greig, Taylor, & MacKay, 2007). The topic of “talking” was introduced by the researcher in the second or third interview in order to give the children an opportunity to discuss this topic spontaneously. A range of techniques were used to generate narratives and to probe for further information when the responses were short or vague. For example, one of the techniques used was a funneling technique (Plummer, 2001). Using this approach, the researcher introduced a topic by asking broad grand tour questions (e.g., “can you tell me about your favourite sports?”), which were followed up with more specific and focused mini-tour questions (e.g., “can you tell me about a game that you played in?”). The goal was to generate data about actions rather than attributes because actions are considered a core element of narratives (Wetherell, Botting, & Conti-Ramsden, 2007). The researcher used active listening techniques, such as restating and summarizing what the child had said, as well as encouraging extensions of the topic (e.g., “Can you tell me about another time that you played a game of soccer?”). The researcher also used other active listening strategies to keep the conversation going, such as “uh huh,” “really,” “what happened next,” nodding, and eye contact (more details can be found in the study by Lyons & Roulstone, 2016). Clarifications were sought by the researcher as required. Resources, such as use of personal photographs and prompts, were used to support children to remember events because there is evidence to suggest that children with language disorder may have difficulty producing autobiographical memories without scaffolding (Tompkins & Jeffrey Farrar, 2011).
Data were generated over a 6-month period from May to October to include the end of the previous school year and the transition to a new class or school in September in order to gain insight into children's experiences during this transition period. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed, with assent from all but one of the children, on an Olympus Voice Recorder DS-2400 (see Supplemental Material S2 for transcription conventions). Over multiple interviews, topics and stories were revisited, and the first author checked that her understandings of the participants' stories matched their intended meanings. In the final interviews, the participants were invited to comment on summaries of their individual stories, which the first author had written. Three children corrected factual inaccuracies. One child denied that he had been upset when others could not understand him. Following discussions about whether or not he would like to remove this from his story, he decided it should remain. It is acknowledged that the interview context can be viewed as an interactional event (De Fina, 2009), and there is little doubt that the first author's questions, requests for clarification, and responses to the children's narratives shaped the nature of the data generated and the stories told.
The data were analyzed using inductive and deductive methods. The analysis was informed by existing frameworks and research on well-being and resilience in children but was also open to new themes. This was consistent with the view of Minichiello, Aroni, and Hays (2008)  that, when data fit with concepts from the literature, these concepts can be used, but they also suggest that researchers remain open to new themes. The first step was to organize the data in preparation for analysis using QSR NVivo 8 (http://www.qsrinternational.com). Each of the participant's stories were identified and coded for content under topic headings explored in the interviews (e.g., stories about family and peers in school and leisure contexts). The aim was to keep stories intact insofar as possible. The analysis of these stories included two phases. First, the plot structure in each of the stories was analyzed using the narrative plots proposed by Gergen and Gergen (1986), and stories were categorized as progressive narratives, which had positive outcomes; stable narratives, which represented a status quo where there was no change in the situation; and regressive narratives, which reflected a deterioration in circumstances. Second, each of these stories was then coded for evaluative devices (outlined in Table 1) using the annotations tool in NVivo 8 to provide more fine-grained analysis of the emotional tone of the narratives. For example, children may have used emotion words explicitly, and for others, the emotional expression may have taken different forms, such as repetition of an idea for emphasis, which stressed the importance of the idea, and use of negative markers, which reflected what the children expected would occur in a situation. The data were also coded for agency markers. Agency in the narrative sense is concerned with presentations of self as the passive recipient of the influence of others (such as parents or teachers) or as an agentic self exerting control over the environment (Bamberg, 2012). Some researchers claim that agency may be reduced when the agent's action is carried out under obligation (Kleres, 2010; Peterson & McCabe, 1983). Compulsion verbs (e.g., have to) can represent diminished agency, for example, “I had to do my homework because my teacher told me to.” These stories were then assigned to categories of positive or negative evaluations within each case and, then, across cases. In the next phase, the data were reviewed and subthemes were formed under the two broad themes of potential risks to well-being and protective strategies. The data were assigned to these categories (deductive approach), and themes were refined, tested, and retested until they were the best fit for the data (Polkinghorne, 1995). In order to strengthen the credibility of the interpretations, emerging themes were cross-checked with the aim of staying as close to the children's meanings as possible (Heuchemer & Josephsson, 2006). The coding frame was generated by the first author. Transcripts of the first two children and samples from three subsequent children were read independently by the second author. The coding frame was then debated by the authors and a second supervisor (see Acknowledgments section) as each new transcript was coded to further develop the themes and integrate newly identified codes.
Reflexivity
Reflexivity refers to the process of reflecting on the self as researcher and being explicit about the lens through which the data collection and analyses were conducted. The first author, who collected the data and led the analysis, kept a reflective diary, including thoughts, feelings, and biases that might have influenced the research process. She held a qualification in speech and language pathology and had worked in clinical practice and academia. The researcher introduced herself to the participants as a speech-language pathologist but emphasized that the interviews would not be therapy sessions. From a theoretical point of view, she was influenced by the social model of disability, the International Classification of Functioning (Threats & Worrall, 2004), and literature on quality of life in children with speech and language disorders. Her expectation was that the children's narratives would reflect predominantly negative experiences. Therefore, she addressed these preconceptions in several ways. She consciously assumed the role of naïve listener and aimed to ask balanced questions in the data collection phase (e.g., questions about positive and negative experiences). In the data analysis phase, she was cognizant that themes could be identified that fitted into a priori frameworks, such as the International Classification of Functioning, but, at the same time, remained open to new themes.
Results
Two main themes relating to well-being were identified: potential risks to well-being and potential protective strategies. Under the theme of potential risks to well-being, there were three subthemes that reflected negative feelings: communication impairment and disability, difficulties with relationships, and concern about academic achievement. Under the theme of potential protective strategies, three subthemes were identified that reflected positive feelings: hope, agency, and positive relationships.
It is important to acknowledge that the simple dichotomy of positive and negative evaluations may not always have represented the multiple, complex and, at times, contradictory ways in which the children evaluated life events. Indeed, positive and negative evaluations sometimes coexisted alongside each other in the children's narratives. Well-being in the context of this study referred to subjective well-being and the children's affective states as reflected in explicit and implicit positive and negative evaluations of experiences in their narratives. The plot structure in the majority of narratives could be characterized as progressive because the situation had changed for the better. There were also some stable plots, and one regressive plot was identified. When some children talked about what could be considered by adults as negative experiences in the past (e.g., experiences of bullying), their evaluations had changed over time and were now positive because the problem had resolved. Therefore, the term potential risks to well-being was used to describe one of the overall themes because, although the problem had now resolved, it could have had a negative impact on well-being at the time. The term potential protective factors was also used because the researchers identified these factors as protective rather than the children. Not all themes emerged in each participant's data set. Therefore, illustrative quotes are presented both in the text and in Table 3 from those participants where themes were identified.
Table 3. Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.
Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.×
Primary theme Subthemes Illustrative quotes
Risks to well-being Communication impairment and disability Amy, Interview 3 Kevin, Interview 2 Dawn, Interview 5
I: What's your talk like? I: Anything else that's hard for you? I: Tell me about your talking.
P: Sometimes I get mixed up. P: Em talking. P: I don't think I like should be in the language because my voice like, my talk is good.
I: Do you? Like what? Like mix up the words or mix up what you want to say? I: Ok let's put that one down. Can you tell me about the talking? I: Yeah, you don't think you should be here?
P: Both of them. P: Em I think it was last Thursday that I was reading English and eh somebody didn't didn't I think somebody didn't understand me. P: My talk is good.
I: Who was the somebody? I: Your talk is good.
P: I don't know. P: I know all words.
I: Was it one of the kids in the class or the teacher?
P: One of the kids in the class.
I: How do you feel when that happened?
P: I feel a little bit upset.
I: A little bit upset.
P: But I ignore it.
Difficulties with relationships Sara, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 1 Hannah, Interview 2
I: Your mam was saying that school] I: What else is different about the language class? I: And tell me about your new school?
P: [Was not the greatest place… P: Some of not most of your friends are in it. P: Some people were bullying me.
P: I get trouble in with friends. I: Most of your friends are in it? I: Ok, and what happened?
I: You get into trouble with friends? P: Not most of your friends are in it. P: They got in trouble.
P: No. Like I don't really have much friends. I get alone lots of time…Well I don't really have much to talk too much people to talk with. So then there's not really much people to play with. Dawn, Interview 6 I: And who did you tell?
I: Tell me about the playground? P: The teacher.
P: Sometimes we play soccer and sometimes, sometimes we'll just, sometimes they'll be out of school and you won't, you like, you won't have anyone to play with. I: You told the teacher. And what were they doing?
P: They hitting me.
Concern about academic achievement Torres, Interview 6 Dawn, Interview 6 Mary, Interview 1
I: Tell me about your new class. I: I was going to ask you about school and how school is going? P: You see sometimes I'm going down to Mrs. Kelly [resource teacher] and up in the classrooms. I don't like science and geography and something like that and I miss it. Most of it.
P: It kind of big step. Like when I'm in sixth class it will be a huge step when I going into first year [secondary school]. And then when I am in sixth year it will be a huge step to college. Sixth year is the hardest. P: The only thing I find hard in school now this year is maths. I: Ok, so you feel you miss it?
I: Really? P: Yeah and it's kind of really hard to catch up on things like my mental maths. I'm far behind.
P: I hate maths.
I: Do you? What's hard about maths?
P: Concentrating.
I: Yeah and what kind of maths are you doing?
P: Long division.
I: Oh right.
P: It's like a sum and then you write. Do you know? Ask you and then you put two lines writing the answer and then you add. First you do a sum then you add up and write that. Then you add that up and write the answer at the bottom. It's very hard.
Protective factors related to well-being Hope Blade, Interview 5 Amy, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 2
I: You talked about being left out the last day. I: When did you feel really proud of yourself? I: What would you like to be when you grow up?
P: You have to keep your hopes up and it [speech and language] will improve. P: When I won. P: Teacher.
I: Yeah, tell me about that? I: You'd like to be a teacher. And what else, let's say when you are twenty?
P: Sometimes just imagining, some days there is a marathon on and you run. P: Mrs. Smith.
I: Mrs. Smith. So you would be married?
P: Yeah
Agency Blade, Interview 3 Amy, Interview 1 Enda, Interview 2
I: Ok so rugby. Can you remember the best rugby game that you played in? I: What do you do when you are bullied? I: How would you make friends with a new person?
P: I'm really I'm good at rugby. But like they think sometimes if no good people are around them at rugby they just pass to me. They don't really pass to me like. They think I'll like screw it up and they won't give the ball to me…yeah so I'm gonna try my best and they'll see they'll see I'm going to be good at it. P: Just tell the teacher. P: Ask them “can I be your friend?”
I: Just tell the teacher? I: Yeah and have you ever done that?
P: Then I don't be her friend. P: Yeah.
Positive relationships Torres, Interview 1 (Describing his friend) Chantelle, Interview 3 Enda, Interview 5
If somebody mean he would say “don't say that to him”…Some people make fun of me. Then then after my other friends say “like like it is it is not his fault he can't talk properly.” I: How come you're best best friends? I: Ok and what do you like best about Ben?
P: She always buys me stuff in the shop and we always go down somewhere like. And what we do we do this thing a best friend thing. Like somewhere down in the the pitch we do a best friend thing. We have a picnic like me Jody Susan Kate Anna that's all. P: Well he's a good friend.
I: Ok. And what else do best friends do together? I: Is he? And what makes a good friend?
P: They make stuff. They share. I forget again. Think, oh they help them if they're stuck if they can't lift something. P: He's helpful.
I: So Ben is helpful. What would he help you with?
P: If you fell on the ground, he'd pick you up.
I: He'd pick you up. Ok. And what do you like about Evan?
P: He plays with me.
Table 3. Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.
Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.×
Primary theme Subthemes Illustrative quotes
Risks to well-being Communication impairment and disability Amy, Interview 3 Kevin, Interview 2 Dawn, Interview 5
I: What's your talk like? I: Anything else that's hard for you? I: Tell me about your talking.
P: Sometimes I get mixed up. P: Em talking. P: I don't think I like should be in the language because my voice like, my talk is good.
I: Do you? Like what? Like mix up the words or mix up what you want to say? I: Ok let's put that one down. Can you tell me about the talking? I: Yeah, you don't think you should be here?
P: Both of them. P: Em I think it was last Thursday that I was reading English and eh somebody didn't didn't I think somebody didn't understand me. P: My talk is good.
I: Who was the somebody? I: Your talk is good.
P: I don't know. P: I know all words.
I: Was it one of the kids in the class or the teacher?
P: One of the kids in the class.
I: How do you feel when that happened?
P: I feel a little bit upset.
I: A little bit upset.
P: But I ignore it.
Difficulties with relationships Sara, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 1 Hannah, Interview 2
I: Your mam was saying that school] I: What else is different about the language class? I: And tell me about your new school?
P: [Was not the greatest place… P: Some of not most of your friends are in it. P: Some people were bullying me.
P: I get trouble in with friends. I: Most of your friends are in it? I: Ok, and what happened?
I: You get into trouble with friends? P: Not most of your friends are in it. P: They got in trouble.
P: No. Like I don't really have much friends. I get alone lots of time…Well I don't really have much to talk too much people to talk with. So then there's not really much people to play with. Dawn, Interview 6 I: And who did you tell?
I: Tell me about the playground? P: The teacher.
P: Sometimes we play soccer and sometimes, sometimes we'll just, sometimes they'll be out of school and you won't, you like, you won't have anyone to play with. I: You told the teacher. And what were they doing?
P: They hitting me.
Concern about academic achievement Torres, Interview 6 Dawn, Interview 6 Mary, Interview 1
I: Tell me about your new class. I: I was going to ask you about school and how school is going? P: You see sometimes I'm going down to Mrs. Kelly [resource teacher] and up in the classrooms. I don't like science and geography and something like that and I miss it. Most of it.
P: It kind of big step. Like when I'm in sixth class it will be a huge step when I going into first year [secondary school]. And then when I am in sixth year it will be a huge step to college. Sixth year is the hardest. P: The only thing I find hard in school now this year is maths. I: Ok, so you feel you miss it?
I: Really? P: Yeah and it's kind of really hard to catch up on things like my mental maths. I'm far behind.
P: I hate maths.
I: Do you? What's hard about maths?
P: Concentrating.
I: Yeah and what kind of maths are you doing?
P: Long division.
I: Oh right.
P: It's like a sum and then you write. Do you know? Ask you and then you put two lines writing the answer and then you add. First you do a sum then you add up and write that. Then you add that up and write the answer at the bottom. It's very hard.
Protective factors related to well-being Hope Blade, Interview 5 Amy, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 2
I: You talked about being left out the last day. I: When did you feel really proud of yourself? I: What would you like to be when you grow up?
P: You have to keep your hopes up and it [speech and language] will improve. P: When I won. P: Teacher.
I: Yeah, tell me about that? I: You'd like to be a teacher. And what else, let's say when you are twenty?
P: Sometimes just imagining, some days there is a marathon on and you run. P: Mrs. Smith.
I: Mrs. Smith. So you would be married?
P: Yeah
Agency Blade, Interview 3 Amy, Interview 1 Enda, Interview 2
I: Ok so rugby. Can you remember the best rugby game that you played in? I: What do you do when you are bullied? I: How would you make friends with a new person?
P: I'm really I'm good at rugby. But like they think sometimes if no good people are around them at rugby they just pass to me. They don't really pass to me like. They think I'll like screw it up and they won't give the ball to me…yeah so I'm gonna try my best and they'll see they'll see I'm going to be good at it. P: Just tell the teacher. P: Ask them “can I be your friend?”
I: Just tell the teacher? I: Yeah and have you ever done that?
P: Then I don't be her friend. P: Yeah.
Positive relationships Torres, Interview 1 (Describing his friend) Chantelle, Interview 3 Enda, Interview 5
If somebody mean he would say “don't say that to him”…Some people make fun of me. Then then after my other friends say “like like it is it is not his fault he can't talk properly.” I: How come you're best best friends? I: Ok and what do you like best about Ben?
P: She always buys me stuff in the shop and we always go down somewhere like. And what we do we do this thing a best friend thing. Like somewhere down in the the pitch we do a best friend thing. We have a picnic like me Jody Susan Kate Anna that's all. P: Well he's a good friend.
I: Ok. And what else do best friends do together? I: Is he? And what makes a good friend?
P: They make stuff. They share. I forget again. Think, oh they help them if they're stuck if they can't lift something. P: He's helpful.
I: So Ben is helpful. What would he help you with?
P: If you fell on the ground, he'd pick you up.
I: He'd pick you up. Ok. And what do you like about Evan?
P: He plays with me.
×
Potential Risks to Well-Being
Communication Impairment and Disability
One participant, Torres, brought up the topic of his speech impairment spontaneously. Eight participants talked about their talking when the topic was brought up by the researcher, whereas three talked about their talking a few times or not at all. Four of the participants appeared concerned about their communication impairments, one participant was uncertain about whether or not she had a communication impairment, one participant appeared to avoid the topic, and five talked about their communication impairment in a neutral way. The children conceptualized communication impairment and disability in different ways. Impairment referred to ways in which the children described their own difficulties in relation to talking, whereas disability referred to social barriers, such as others not understanding them. The children used a range of terms to describe their communication impairments. For example, they used words such as speech, just can't think, voice, talk, forget, hard, can't say the words, and get mixed up. When the children with only language disorders spoke about talking, they referred to difficulties with pronunciation of words. Many of the children also used terms, such as something wrong, right, and properly, when they spoke about their talking, which suggested an awareness of the construct of normality. Some used evaluative devices, such as intensifiers and adjectives, to represent how frustrating and difficult talking was for them. Two participants used temporal markers to distance themselves from what their talking was like in the past. For example, in this excerpt, Blade, who had a language disorder, talked about rehearsing what he wanted to say, getting mixed up, and having difficulty thinking. He used the compulsion verb “have to” when he had to start over again, which may suggest frustration.

Blade, Interview 1 (P = participant; I = interviewer).

P: And I try and like say it out in my mind and then I just say something and then I get all mixed up with the words…Like you can't make it too long because like you don't know what words to put in a sentence like in a better way to say.

I: Ok, so if you wanted to explain something?

P: Yeah explain it (unintelligible) I'd find hard like so I like I say something then I have to start all over again like just can't think.

Disability was used to refer to social barriers, whereby the children attributed communication breakdown to others. For example, in the following excerpt, Torres, who had a speech and language disorder, appeared frustrated when he was compelled to write out the word and repeat it when others did not understand him. He attributed the communication breakdown both to his own impairment (e.g., “really hard to say it”) and to others not understanding him. He also expressed feelings of annoyance and sadness.

Torres, Interview 1

I: Tell me a bit about your speech.

P: Like sometime it hard to like. Some people can't really understand me. Eh really hard to say it. Like maybe I got say it around ten times and it be annoying and everything.

I: You might have to say it ten times before somebody would know what you said.

P: Or more than ten times.

I: Or more than ten times. Does that happen every day or some days?

P: Some days.

I: Some days. Tell me about a time when somebody couldn't understand you. I am really interested in hearing about that.

P: Well some people don't understand me. Like my teacher my teacher doesn't really understand me. Then I then I got to then I got to write it out.

I: If the teacher doesn't understand you she will ask you to write it out?

P: Yeah.

I: Do your friends understand you?

P: Only one time they don't understand me.

I: Only one time. What do you do when people don't understand you?

P: I keep saying it again and again.

I: How does it make you feel when people don't understand you?

P: Sad.

In another extract, Kevin, who had a speech sound disorder, attributed communication breakdown to others not being able to hear him, and he considered that his volume was fine. Sara was frustrated in the interview context when the researcher did not understand her. For example, when the researcher returned with a summary of Sara's stories to check the researcher's understandings of them, Sara was frustrated when referents had been misunderstood or misinterpreted. For example, in the following extract, she attributed communication breakdown to both the researcher and herself (e.g., “how could we get confused actually?”) and to the researcher (e.g., “why do you get confused?”).

Sara, Interview 3 [The researcher was clarifying information about friendships from a transcript of a previous interview]

P: Why do you get confused?

I: I know. See I'm reading it upside down. So it's Susan. Well that could be actually here because you said your parents doesn't know her parents. So your parents maybe don't know her parents. Is that what you meant?

P: I don't know what I was saying. Just that maybe (inaudible) and let's say Jane is the new best friend of Susan… How could we get so confused actually?

In summary, children conceptualized communication impairment and disability in different ways with some talking about their own intrinsic difficulties and others talking about contexts where others could not understand them.
Difficulties With Relationships
Eight participants evaluated narratives about relationships with others in negative ways, for example, narratives about conflict with parents, siblings, and teachers, as well as difficulties with peer relationships. Conflict with parents and teachers was often about restrictions in autonomy, such as not being allowed to do things or go places, “having to” follow rules, and getting into trouble when the children perceived that they were wrongly accused of some wrongdoing. For example, in this excerpt, Torres talked about getting into trouble with his teacher when he considered that he had not done anything wrong.

Torres, Interview 2 (discussing a time-out punishment)

P: Once I was actually I was actually a coat fell …a coat fell off the hook.

I: Yes.

P: And I stand on it and walked on it and I step on it by accident.

I: Then, teacher said, “you are very bold and you got to go to the wall.”

Four participants also talked about conflict with siblings. For example, Hannah talked about conflict with her siblings and reported that they teased her and disrupted family outings because of their behavior. In relation to peer relationships, three participants reported that they had lots of friends, three participants reported that they had some friends, and four clearly wanted more friendships. Kevin reported that he would like to have more friends, and he attributed not having friends to his speech problem.

Kevin, Interview 1

P: I only have two friends.

I: Do you have friends in school?

P: No.

I: No how come?

P: Because I have no friends in my class because of my speech.

Four participants experienced verbal bullying, such as name calling, and three participants experienced physical bullying. Both Torres, who presented with a speech and language disorder, and Kevin, who presented with a speech sound disorder, attributed being teased to their speech difficulties, as illustrated in the following excerpts. Kevin reported that he did not get teased as much now because his speech has improved. He thought that children were teased because of their accents.

Kevin, Interview 5

I: Kevin have you been teased as well?

P: Well not anymore.

I: Not anymore you used to be?

P: I used to be my speech has got better since.

I: Was it because of your speech that you got teased?

P: Yeah.

I: Do you think kids get teased for other things or is it just speech?

P: I think they get teased for other things too. I think it is from I think it's because they are from different countries and they are and their accents.

In the following excerpt, Torres used a negative marker that reflected his assumption that children were only teased because of speech problems.

Torres, Interview 2

P: Then he make fun of my other friend and and and he don't speech problem or nothing. He talk properly.

Social exclusion emerged in Sara and Blade's narratives when they talked about the transition from the language class back to their mainstream schools. Their evaluations in their narratives suggest feelings of frustration, loneliness, upset, and exclusion. Sara returned to her local school, having spent 2 years in the language class, a year prior to the interviews and reported that she still “gets alone lots of times.” She attributed her difficulties with peer relationships to two reasons, as illustrated in the excerpt below. First, she reported that she could not think of a subject to talk about. As a result, she disliked the schoolyard and positioned herself in a passive role where she “just” listened to peers or walked around the schoolyard. She used to play with younger children in the playground. However, a new policy was introduced in the school, stating that older children could not play with younger children. This meant that she could no longer play with younger children. Second, Sara also felt excluded by others, as illustrated in the excerpt below.

Sara, Interview 3

I: I was going to ask you a little bit more Sara about talking. What is talking like for you?

P: A bit hard to friends.

I: Yeah?

P: It's just I don't think of a subject to talk about.

I: Ok.

P: I just would listen in the conversations.

I: Ok.

P: Just like that in well, now it was like that in the yard. I was just listening conversations. Walk around like myself…[name of new girl] she was a new girl when I left.

I: She was a new girl?

P: And now they're all got along with each other. All them.

I: Ok and what about you?

P: They don't tell me things.

Two of the participants also talked about practical barriers to friendships. Four of the participants who travelled distances to the language class talked about losing contact with their local peers. Some developed friendships in the language class but had little contact with their peers outside of the school context. For example, Blade and Kevin knew each other from their time in the language class, and both talked separately about not having phone numbers to contact each other after leaving the class. When Blade returned to his local school, he was excited that his teacher was going to give him the phone numbers of the children in his class so that he could call them and invite them to his house.
Concern About Academic Achievement
Nine of the participants were concerned about academic achievement and their future trajectory through the education system. These participants reported that some aspects of schoolwork were difficult. All, with the exception of Enda, had attended or were currently attending a language class, which meant that children left their local mainstream schools for a period of 1–2 years. Three were positive in their evaluations of their experiences in the language class, three participants were ambivalent, and three disliked it. Their criticisms included the size of the class (e.g., two commented that there were “only” seven children), having to get up early to catch the bus, traveling on the bus, following the rules in the school, being associated with other children with “special” needs, and experiences of bullying incidents. In addition, they would have liked more children to talk to. Three of those in mainstream education found the workload challenging. For example, in this excerpt, Kevin talked about the increased workload when he moved from fourth to fifth grade in his mainstream school. He used compulsion verbs when he talked about the amount of work he “had to” get through. He was disappointed that there were fewer physical education (PE) classes, which he really enjoyed, and was worried about falling behind.

Kevin, Interview 6

I: What is it like Kevin?

P: [sigh] Very hard.

I: Is it? How come?

P: Fifth class is way harder than third and fourth class put together.

I: Really. What's hard about it?

P: The work. There are a whole lot of books we have to get finished in the year. Like this much of books [showed me with a gesture] we have to get done before the year is out.

I: Ok.

P: And we get and we got twice as many twice as much PE [physical education] we got twice as much PE last year than this year.

I: Not much time for PE so it's much more work. Are you worried that you might fall behind or do you think you are doing OK?

P: I am worried that I will fall behind.

Four participants had mixed views in relation to receiving help from a resource teacher in mainstream classes. Two participants downplayed this explaining that they were not the only ones to get help. Two participants disliked attending the resource teacher because it singled them out from peers. Although some children were ambitious in terms of their aspirations for future careers, Torres, Kevin, and Blade were worried about secondary school and asked questions in relation to college, for example, was it necessary to go to college for certain jobs, and how many years would be required? Kevin talked about leaving secondary school early to get a job and stated that you did not “need to” go to college.

Kevin, Interview 6 (discussing leaving secondary school before the final senior certificate examination)

P: No you don't need to go. You don't need to go into sixth year. You can decide if you want to go yourself.

I: To secondary?

P: Yea because you will try to find a job in sixth year…I know three people that finished when they passed their junior cert.

Potential Protective Strategies
This theme was defined in terms of potential protective factors in relation to well-being and resilience, and three subthemes were identified, that is, hope, agency, and positive relationships. The children evaluated these narratives in positive ways, which reflected a positive outlook, a sense of control over their environment, and positive relationships with others, all of which have been identified as protective factors in the literature.
Hope
Even though the children were negotiating what could be considered potentially difficult situations (e.g., sibling rivalry, bullying, and challenges with academic work), many evaluated their experiences in their narratives in positive ways. Furthermore, the predominant plot structure in many of the narratives could be characterized as “progressive” with positive outcomes. For example, when Blade initially returned to his local school from the language class, he positioned himself in a passive role and felt excluded and sad because his friends did not talk to him. However, he now evaluated this narrative in a positive way because the problem had been resolved.

Blade, Interview 5 (discussing his return to his local school from the language class)

P: It's really good. At the start, like, I was really sad because the friends weren't talking to me.

I: Really?

P: And then, cause, I don't know and then now I'm always talking to them and now they're talking to me. It's really good now because they are starting to talk to me. For like the full week I was crying at the night time but it doesn't matter now because you see I'm all friends with them now. They talk to me back. It's great fun and great craic. 1  

Blade was also excited about what the future held for him and stated that “you never know what you are going to be.” He had aspirations of becoming a surgeon. Blade also explicitly stated that children with speech and language disorders “have to keep your [their] hopes up and it will improve.”
This hopeful stance was also evident in the narratives of other participants in relation to imagined possibilities for the future. For example, Dawn and Sara were looking forward to getting married, Torres wanted to become a soccer player, Kevin wanted to be a businessman, Enda wanted to become a farmer, and Chantelle wanted to become a singer. Hannah often presented herself in passive positions in her narratives, which contrasted with her envisioned future self as a shopkeeper, where she said she would be the boss. Blade, Torres, Kevin, and Sara wished for financial security when they were older and wanted to be rich or billionaires. Torres wanted to be president of Ireland. Kevin was the only participant who wished that he could change his speech. He was pleased that his running was improving, and he was hopeful of winning a medal.

Kevin, Interview 3

I: What was the best day you ever had in school?

P: Sports day.

I: Really this year's sports day. Why was this year's the best?

P: I was better in the running than last year.

Kevin, Interview 4

I: You told me that your favourite day in school is the sports day.

P: Yea hopefully I might get a medal this year.

In contrast, Amy's narratives appeared less hopeful and were mainly characterized by stable plots where there was a status quo. For example, in the following excerpt, she talked about using creams for her eczema, but they did not work.

Amy, Interview 2

I: You told me before that you had eczema when you were a baby. Tell me about a time you had to go to the doctor.

P: The doctor had to check for my eczema.

I: Check your eczema yeah?

P: Then he gave me this big tube of cream but it didn't work.

I: It didn't work?

P: And I keep on putting it on and it doesn't work.

Notably, Amy was the only child who did not know what she wanted to be when she grew up. However, she was hopeful that she would run a marathon someday.
Agency
There was evidence that some children presented themselves as having self-efficacy and control over their environment and as active agents in their narratives. For example, in relation to academic work, Blade, Dawn, and Chantelle demonstrated self-efficacy, stating that they could do their work. In the following excerpt, Dawn explained that she could learn maths by listening to the teacher even when it was difficult.

Dawn, Interview 3

P: And in school when I learnt how to stuff I learnt how to do all like everything.

I: Yeah and how do you actually learn how to do something?

P: Because if you in each day and the teacher is talking about maths you can learn all maths.

I: Ok.

P: And learn it until you get it and then you know how to do it.

I: Yeah and what about if you were learning something that was really hard to learn?

P: I'd still learn it.

Eight participants also presented themselves as agents in narratives about peer relationships. For example, in the following excerpt, Dawn presented herself in an active role and used direct speech to illustrate how she initiated interaction with a peer in basketball and made a friend.

Dawn, Interview 1

P: When we started I was we were doing playing basketball. I went over and said “do you want to play” and she said “no” and then she said “can I play” and I said “yeah” And then we scored goals and then we won and then we started being friends.

Blade also demonstrated agency in a progressive narrative when he talked about a potentially negative experience with peers. He reported that his peers did not pass the ball to him in rugby because they thought that he was not a good player. He demonstrated agency by stating his resolve to prove them wrong.
In relation to speech and language skills, three children demonstrated agency, saying that they could say the words now. Although they were frustrated by having to use strategies to repair communication breakdown, they used a range of problem-solving strategies, such as repeating the word, saying it louder, drawing it, writing it down, and spelling the word, and they used metacognitive strategies, such as rehearsing the words, thinking first, and deliberately using shorter sentences. In the following excerpt, Blade considered that his talking was improving. Although he did not like attending the language class, he acknowledged that it had helped him, and he used agentic language, such as “I'm able to do it now,” and “I actually remember some of it now.”

Blade, Interview 3

P: Then like, it's alright if you're getting better at it. Like I'm able to do it now like and I'm not really having that much trouble with my talking so I have no problems with it really…Yeah but I really hated [language class] like at school but it actually did help. Your memory jogs up like, you know. Like if I could actually remember, like, I couldn't, if I didn't go to that school I couldn't remember any of my childhood stuff. But I actually sort of now, I actually remember some of it now. I feel happy and I'm able to (unintelligible) my speech is all right like and my speech is all right. I have to think of stuff now. I don't have to forget nearly every, you know, minute.

There was also evidence of agency when children talked about ways in which they dealt with bullying. The children talked about a range of strategies to deal with bullies, for example, telling someone in authority, needing punishment for bullies (e.g., use of imperatives such as should), ignoring them, dealing with the bullies themselves (e.g., fight back, get revenge on them), having friends, or having conciliatory approaches. The children had differing views on the effectiveness of teachers' interventions in relation to dealing with bullies. Blade and Kevin dealt with bullies themselves when they felt that they were physically stronger than them. Amy, on the other hand, did not think that the teacher's interventions for bullying were effective.

Kevin, Interview 4 (discussing a time when he was teased by a peer)

I: What did you do?

P: I just turned my back to them.

I: Did you tell anybody?

P: No there was no need.

I: There was no need?

P: Yea.

I: Why do you think there was no need?

P: Em because they were smaller than me and I knew that I was stronger than them.

Blade and Sara also talked about more conciliatory approaches to deal with bullying in terms of trying to understand the motives behind their behavior.

Sara, Interview 2

P: Yeah. I think but they also complain about people that have eyes, glasses, because they're different. They want everybody to be the same.

I: I think so.

P: Just every time I don't understand bullies why do they always get so mean? Why can't they just get along with people? But I know why because sometimes they can be jealous or they always want to be the same as people.

Positive Relationships
Although some children talked about conflict in relationships, all participants presented themselves as having positive relationships with their families, in particular, with their mothers, siblings, extended family, peers, and pets. Positive relationships provided the children with opportunities to demonstrate their abilities, which were recognized and affirmed by others. For example, Enda described friends as those who help you and play with you. Dawn reported that she liked helping people with their work.

Dawn, Interview 3

P: What's the nicest thing that has happened to you?

P: The nicest thing, when I help all people if they don't know their work.

I: You help other people out?

P: Yeah.

Chantelle talked about a “best friend thing,” which she did with her friends. For Kevin, although the transition from fourth to fifth grade was challenging because of the increased workload, it was also positive because he made new friends. Positive relationships with peers also seemed to act as a buffer against bullies. For example, Torres, Blade, and Kevin felt validated and supported when their friends supported and defended them when they were being victimized, as illustrated in the following excerpt. Torres used direct speech when talking about ways in which his friends defended him and emphasized that those who defended him were his “true” friends.

Torres, Interview 5 (discussing a time when a friend backed him up when he was being teased by another boy)

P: Then after my friend was back me up. Then after that he was shouting and hitting. And then after he said to (unintelligible) go out of the classroom. Then after my friend said “good bye.” They said to “go away.”

I: Your friends said good bye to him.

P: My TRUE friends.

Discussion
The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of children with speech and language disorders with a particular focus on potential risks in relation to well-being and potential protective strategies. Narrative inquiry was used to generate stories about experiences, and the detailed analysis of evaluative markers provided insight into the emotional tone of the children's stories and their subjective well-being. For example, they used stress and repetition that may have been used to emphasize points or signal frustration, compulsion verbs that may have represented a perception of diminished agency, lexical choices to signal emotional states that ranged from sadness to excitement, use of negative markers that provided insights into what they expected would happen in certain situations, and direct speech to illustrate the demeaning ways in which they were teased by others. The findings suggest that there were potential risks to well-being as reflected in narratives about communication impairment and disability, difficulties with relationships, and concern about academic achievement. There was also evidence of protective strategies in narratives, which reflected hope, agency, and positive relationships. However, it is acknowledged that this dichotomy may be overly simplistic and may not reflect the multiple ways in which the children evaluated life events. These risks and protective strategies were identified by the researchers rather than explicitly stated by the children. Adversity can be viewed as a complex construct, and children's and adult's understanding of this construct may differ. For example, some of the coping strategies used by the children, such as leaving school early, may have been viewed as effective in the short-term by the children but may not be viewed as effective by adults in the longer term.
Potential Risks to Well-Being
The potential risks to well-being, which emerged in the children's narratives, were communication impairment and disability, difficulties with relationships, and concern about academic achievement. The children's conceptualization of their speech and language disorders was consistent with the social model of disability proposed by Thomas (2004), which includes three dimensions: impairment effects, barriers to doing, and barriers to being. Thomas (2007)  defined barriers to being as psychoemotional disablism, whereby people with disabilities may be hurt and may feel lesser by the words or actions of nondisabled people. The findings are consistent with those of other studies and reflect these three dimensions, for example, difficulty saying words (impairment effects); social barriers, such as exclusion and frustration when others did not understand them (barriers to doing); and internalizing negative evaluations by others and being made to feel lesser in some way, such as feelings of sadness (barriers to being; Connors & Stalker, 2007; McCormack et al., 2010; Merrick & Roulstone, 2011; Sanger, Moore-Brown, Montgomery, Rezac, & Keller, 2003). For example, McLeod et al. (2013)  reported that children with speech sound difficulties indicated that they repeated the message when others did not understand them, and one child indicated that he was “forced” to repeat the words (p. 79).
Another potential risk to well-being, which emerged in the children's narratives, was difficulties with peer relationships (e.g., difficulties with making and maintaining friends and victimization), and these findings are consistent with other studies (Conti-Ramsden & Botting, 2004; McCormack et al., 2011; Redmond, 2011; Wadman et al., 2011; Sweeting & West, 2001). Although the participants discussed difficulties with peer relationships, it is also important to remember that these difficulties may be encountered by all children. For example, in a population-based study of 9-year-old children in Ireland, 40% of children reported that they had been bullied in the previous year, and on the basis of parental report, 2% had no close friends at all; 6% had one close friend, whereas 51% had at least four close friends (Williams et al., 2009). As already discussed, there is conflicting evidence in relation to whether children with speech and language disorders are at a higher risk of difficulties with peer relationships. Possible reasons for an increased risk may be related to both child factors and social acceptance by peers. For example, there is some evidence to suggest that children with language disorders may have difficulties with social cognition, which may impact on peer relationships (Andrés-Roqueta, Adrian, Clemente, & Villanueva, 2016; Bakopoulou & Dockrell, 2016). Bakopoulou and Dockrell (2016)  found that 6–11-year-old children with SLI were rated by teachers as presenting with significantly more problems in the domain of socioemotional functioning when compared with the control group. These researchers found that it was social cognition and prosocial behavior, and not language skills, that predicted teacher-rated behavioral, emotional, and social difficulties for the group with SLI. In another recent study, Andrés-Roqueta et al. (2016)  found that children with SLI, aged 3 years and 10 months to 8 years, presented with lower scores both in language and social cognition abilities when compared with age-matched groups, and they received more negative nominations from peers. Some suggest that poor language skills, including poor receptive ability, may be associated with theory of mind development, which may, in turn, affect social relationships (Brinton et al., 2005; Durkin & Conti-Ramsden, 2007). However, not all children with language disorders have difficulties with theory of mind or making friends, but it is plausible that some of the children in the current study may have had difficulties “tuning in” to the listener (Durkin & Conti-Ramsden, 2007, p. 1453). One of the participants in the current study was clearly frustrated in the interview context when communication breakdown occurred and attributed the breakdown to the researcher. This also highlights the important role that others play in the co-repair of communication breakdown. In the interview context, the researcher willingly engaged in the co-repair of communication breakdown, and some children persisted with the process. McCormack et al. (2010), in a study of the experiences of speech sound disorders in the daily lives of children as reported by children and their communication partners, argued that the individual trait of persistence may be a valuable quality in repairing communication breakdown. Further research is needed to explore the impact that individual attributes, such as persistence and negotiation skills, have on well-being and resilience in children with speech and language disorders. It may also be the case that the type of impairment may impact on peer relationships. The findings of this study differ from those of Laws et al. (2012)  who found that children with clearer speech and more mature syntax had more positive peer relationships than children with pragmatic language difficulties. In the current study, the two children with speech disorders also reported difficulties with peer relationships. Children presenting with speech and language disorders are heterogeneous, and the findings of this study highlight the complexity of peer relationships. Further research is required to identify the range of factors, which may influence peer relationships, such as language skills, social cognition, personal attributes, and whether or not the experiences of children with speech and language disorders differ from those of their neurotypical peers. From a social model perspective, it is also necessary to explore the perceptions of peers to gain a better understanding of facilitators and barriers in relation to peer acceptance.
Educational placement and transitions also appeared to have an impact on peer relationships. For one child, the transition to the next class was positive in terms of making new friends, whereas others experienced disruption in friendships when they attended specialist speech and language classes. Some also experienced difficulties re-engaging with peers on their return to mainstream education. This finding is consistent with other studies on the impact of transitions in schools on peer relationships (Baker & Donelly, 2001; Weller, 2007). Researchers have also found that children with SLI attending a language resource base were less accepted by peers than their mainstream peer groups (Laws et al., 2012). It may well be the case that transitions to a different class or school may influence perceptions of friendships and loneliness for all children. It is therefore difficult to attribute the cause for difficulties with peer relationships to the change of school, communication disorders or, indeed, other factors. Nonetheless, it is important that speech and language pathologists and teachers consider ways in which education placements, although well-intentioned, may have negative effects on identity and peer relationships (Lyons & Roulstone, 2016).
Another risk in relation to well-being was that some children positioned themselves in passive roles in relation to peers. It was unclear whether or not this was a deliberate strategy. Stoneham (2001)  argued that children with language impairments and poorly developed friendship skills may show indecision with regard to entering peer groups and joining in play. Indeed, in a study of the social behaviors in the playground of typically developing children and those with language disorder, the children with language disorder demonstrated more withdrawal behaviors than their typically developing peers (Fujiki et al., 2001). Others suggest that children may deliberately position themselves on the outside or on the sidelines of peer groups to avoid being bullied (Sentenac et al., 2011). Although children may view this strategy as protective in the short term, it may have adverse effects from a long-term perspective because children may not learn how to deal effectively with bullies. Indeed, children who position themselves in predominantly passive ways in their narratives may need to learn to restory or reauthor themselves in more agentic and powerful roles (Adler, 2012; Johnston, 2004; White, 2011). However, Redmond (2011)  warns that it is important that speech and language pathologists are on the alert for potential difficulties with victimization when children's language abilities improve because they may interact more with peers and may be at a higher risk for peer victimization.
Another potential risk, in relation to well-being, was concern about current and future academic achievement. The prevalence of concomitant academic difficulties in children with speech and language disorders has been well documented, but little is known about ways in which children deal with challenges in relation to academic work. There is evidence from research on dyslexia that children and adults negotiate living with this learning disability in different ways (Burden, 2008; McNulty, 2003). One of the children in the current study appeared to be overwhelmed by schoolwork and talked about dropping out of school early. This finding is also reported in the literature (Robertson, Harding, & Morrison, 2008). Dropping out of school early may also be viewed by young people in the short term as a protective factor to preserve self-esteem (Dei, Massuca, McIsaac, & Zine, 1997). However, caution is required when interpreting this finding because this theme only emerged in the data of one participant. Nonetheless, leaving school early may also be a risk in relation to the child's education and employment prospects in the long term.
Potential Protective Strategies
The themes that emerged as potential protective strategies in relation to well-being and resilience were hope, agency, and positive relationships. These themes were identified in narratives where children evaluated their experiences in positive ways. Many of the children presented a positive outlook. Their narratives were progressive in plot structure, and their evaluations were positive because the problem they talked about had been resolved. This finding of a positive outlook is interesting in light of resilience and well-being theory that focuses on strengths and positive factors as opposed to deficits (Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). The findings are consistent with those of other qualitative studies with children with speech and language disorders, where some children emphasized their positive skills and qualities (Merrick & Roulstone, 2011), viewed aspects of their lives as good (Roulstone & Lindsay, 2012), and presented with positive identities (Lyons & Roulstone, 2016). A possible explanation for positive evaluations may be the principle of adaptability, whereby people adapt to the circumstances of their lives, whether favorable or unfavorable (Shmotkin, 2005). Therefore, it is important to challenge the assumption that all children with speech, language, and communication needs will have predominantly negative evaluations of their experiences. Indeed, children make sense and negotiate living in the context of any impairment in different ways, which may not necessarily be negative (Burden, 2008). There is a danger that, if the focus is only on the problems that children encounter, then the negative stereotypes associated with disability will be reproduced (Davis, 2004). This very point was illustrated in a study by Miskelly and Roulstone (2011), who were challenged to reframe their research questions, which focused on the difficulties of young people with communication impairments, because the young people wanted to be represented on their own terms.
One of the themes that emerged in the children's narratives was that of hope. Even though some children were negotiating what could be considered challenging experiences, many were hopeful that their situations were improving. In a systematic review on resilience in children, Zolkoski and Bullock (2012)  identified key factors in facilitating resilience, which included having goals, educational aspirations, hope, and belief in a bright future. On the contrary, a sense of hopelessness may be associated with depression and loneliness (Snyder, 2003). Some argue that hope is a dynamic process that is strongly influenced by past experiences, current realities, and perceived futures (Bright, Kayes, McCann, & McPherson, 2013). Therefore, it is plausible that, when children with speech and language disorders have had positive experiences of overcoming obstacles in the past, this may provide them with a sense of agency and hope that they could deal with other obstacles in the future. On the other hand, negative experiences with poor outcomes may diminish a sense of hope. The construct of hope has been investigated in studies of adults with strokes (Bright et al., 2013), in families of children with autism (Gainer Sirota, 2010; Park, 2008), and in young people with cerebral palsy (Cussen, Howie, & Imms, 2012) but has received little attention in the field of childhood speech and language disorders.
There are claims that hope is not solely an internal attribute but emerges rather as a co-construction in the context of relationships with others (Bright et al., 2013; Jagoe & Walsh, 2013; Mattingly, 1998). Therefore, it is important that others in children's social networks, including teachers and speech-language pathologists, are aware of the important role they play in co-constructing hope. Mattingly (1998)  claims that therapy can be framed as a hopeful therapeutic plot, which addresses a gap between where the person is now and where they want to be. Given the potential long-term nature of speech and language disorders, it is crucial that speech-language pathologists, teachers, and parents incorporate hope-enhancing influences into their interactions and interventions with children and young people with speech and language disorders. Furthermore, children's concerns need to be explored and addressed.
Another theme that emerged as a protective strategy was agency. Agency and belief that one can exert control over one's environment have been identified as facilitators of resilience in children (Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). On the contrary, a lack of belief that one can influence the environment may result in feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and pessimism (Adler, 2012). As already discussed, some children positioned themselves in passive ways in their narratives. There was also evidence that some children also presented themselves as agents exerting control over environments, for example, being proactive in making friends. When writing about adults with mental health difficulties, Adler (2012)  claims that those who are highly agentic have a sense of purpose, personal growth, and hope. Indeed, in a study of child well-being, children themselves identified the capacity to act freely, make choices, and exert influence in everyday situations as important determinants of well-being (Fattore et al., 2006).
Another protective strategy in the children's narratives appeared to be positive relationships. There is evidence to suggest that positive relationships with others can mediate negative experiences and strengthen well-being and resilience (Statham & Chase, 2010; Zolkoski & Bullock, 2012). Affirmation by others is important because perceptions of being valued are important to children's sense of well-being (Nic Gabhainn & Sixsmith, 2005). Some children viewed friends as buffers when they were bullied, and this finding has also been reported in the literature (De Vet, Waitt, & Gorman-Murray, 2012; McMaugh, 2011; Merrick & Roulstone, 2011). Redmond (2011, p. 531) referred to the “friendship buffering effect,” whereby children with SLI with more close relationships reported lower levels of victimization. Therefore, it is important to consolidate children's support systems and find advocates and supporters to help mediate their experiences, in order to promote resilience (McLeod et al., 2013). Research on protective factors and resilience in children with speech and language disorders is in the early stages, and longitudinal studies are required to identify risk and protective factors in these children over time.
Strengths and Limitations
The findings of this study need to be interpreted within the context of its strengths and limitations. As is the case in all qualitative research, there are no claims that the findings can be generalized, and they must be interpreted cautiously. The aim of this study was to “put a face” on children with speech and language disorders and to understand their experiences from their own perspectives (Fujiki & Brinton, 2014, p. 284). Greenhalgh (2016)  recommended that researchers put strategies in place to improve rigor and, thereby. enhance trustworthiness in narrative inquiry. For example, there was prolonged engagement with participants and a large volume of data were generated in a range of contexts; the researchers used member checking, whereby they checked their understandings of the participants' intended meanings of the narratives; an in-depth analytic approach was used that provided insights into children's subjective well-being; and the authors' use of reflexivity, whereby they questioned their own findings and considered alternative interpretations. Nonetheless, the findings need to be interpreted in the context of the limitations of the study. It is recognized that, in narrative inquiry, what is accessed is not the life or experience itself but rather the life as told (Plummer, 2001). In other words, individual narratives should never be used as proof of causality or as a “direct undistorted window” on people's experiences (Greenhalgh, 2016, p. 10). Greenhalgh (2016)  argues that rather than seeing narratives as true, they can be viewed as perspectival because they provide insights into the person's lifeworld. Therefore, the authors trusted the children's accounts as representations of their selected experiences, and this is the case in other children's qualitative research (Dockett & Perry, 2007). Furthermore, the data represented what children chose to tell the first author in the context of interviews with a relative stranger. Given that a qualitative design was used in this study, the analysis of the data was embedded in a “constructionist view of reality,” which acknowledges that different people may interpret the data in different ways (Given, 2016, p. 156). The first author conducted the interviews, analyses, and presented an interpretation of the data. It is entirely plausible that other interpretations are possible.
Conclusions and Implications
Very little is known about resilience and ways in which children with speech and language disorders navigate their daily experiences. This study extended our knowledge in relation to well-being and resilience in children with speech and language disorders through listening directly to children's narratives. By valuing narratives and creating time, practitioners can create positive safe environments to allow children to feel safe to tell their stories (Kovarsky, 2008). Indeed, the act of telling stories can be viewed as therapeutic in its own right because stories provide opportunities to express emotions, reduce a sense of isolation, and may provide insights into barriers, goals, hopes, and conflicts (Barrow, 2011). Given that speech and language disorders are potentially life-long conditions, it is important that speech-language pathologists understand the concept of resilience. This research focused on identifying potential risk and protective factors in relation to well-being and resilience in children's narratives. Further research is necessary to investigate ways in which children with speech and language disorders cope with adversity at an individual level. This may involve exploring ways in which individual traits, such as temperament, persistence, and negotiation skills impact on coping skills and outcomes. However, Ungar (2015)  argues that practitioners need to consider resilience in a systemic way rather than viewing it as an individual trait. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate ways in which children's social ecologies act as mediators in relation to positive and negative experiences. The value of tools, such as the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (Liebenberg, Ungar, & LeBlanc, 2013), could be explored with children with speech and language disorders to identify the resources available at individual, social, and cultural levels to bolster resilience. These data could then be used to inform the development of appropriate interventions to support these children and to enhance their well-being.
Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank the children and their families for giving their time to participate in this research project. The authors also thank Mat Jones, University of the West of England, for his very useful guidance with this study. The authors thank Sharynne McLeod for feedback on an early draft of this article.
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Footnote
1 Colloquial Irish expression for fun.
Colloquial Irish expression for fun.×
Table 1. Examples of evaluative devices.
Examples of evaluative devices.×
Examples of evaluative devices References
Agency, active/passive voice, verbs of compulsion, such as “had to,” grammatical limiters of agency “just” Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Emotion words (e.g., “sad”) Fairclough (2001); Kleres (2010) 
Repeating words for emphasis, evaluative nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (e.g., “finally”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Modes, such as declarative and imperatives Fairclough (2001) 
Coherence and causal connections (e.g., “and” and “because”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Negatives because they provide insight into the speaker's expectations (e.g., “he did not see his friend at school”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Prosodic features (e.g., emphatic stress)
Direct speech (e.g., “he said don't do that”)
Table 1. Examples of evaluative devices.
Examples of evaluative devices.×
Examples of evaluative devices References
Agency, active/passive voice, verbs of compulsion, such as “had to,” grammatical limiters of agency “just” Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Emotion words (e.g., “sad”) Fairclough (2001); Kleres (2010) 
Repeating words for emphasis, evaluative nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (e.g., “finally”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Modes, such as declarative and imperatives Fairclough (2001) 
Coherence and causal connections (e.g., “and” and “because”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Negatives because they provide insight into the speaker's expectations (e.g., “he did not see his friend at school”) Peterson & McCabe (1983) 
Prosodic features (e.g., emphatic stress)
Direct speech (e.g., “he said don't do that”)
×
Table 2. Profile of participants.
Profile of participants.×
Participant Age in years Diagnosis made by speech-language pathology service Education placement during data collection (May–December) Number of interviews
Amy 10 Language disorder Moved to language class from local school. 5
Blade 11 Language disorder Returned to local school in September, having spent 2 years in the language class. 5
Chantelle 10 Language disorder Moved from third to fourth grade in the language class. 5
Dawn 11 Language disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in the language class. 6
Enda 9 Language disorder Attended local school. His family declined a place in the language class. 5
Hannah 9 Language disorder Returned to local school after 2 years in the language class. 6
Kevin 11 Speech sound disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in his local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Torres 10 Speech sound and language disorder Moved from third to fourth class in local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Mary 12 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Dawn (2) 11 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Sara 11 Language disorder Moved from fifth to sixth grade and was attending local school. Had attended the language class. 5
Table 2. Profile of participants.
Profile of participants.×
Participant Age in years Diagnosis made by speech-language pathology service Education placement during data collection (May–December) Number of interviews
Amy 10 Language disorder Moved to language class from local school. 5
Blade 11 Language disorder Returned to local school in September, having spent 2 years in the language class. 5
Chantelle 10 Language disorder Moved from third to fourth grade in the language class. 5
Dawn 11 Language disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in the language class. 6
Enda 9 Language disorder Attended local school. His family declined a place in the language class. 5
Hannah 9 Language disorder Returned to local school after 2 years in the language class. 6
Kevin 11 Speech sound disorder Moved from fourth to fifth grade in his local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Torres 10 Speech sound and language disorder Moved from third to fourth class in local school. Had attended the language class. 6
Mary 12 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Dawn (2) 11 Language disorder Moved to the language class from local school. 5
Sara 11 Language disorder Moved from fifth to sixth grade and was attending local school. Had attended the language class. 5
×
Table 3. Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.
Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.×
Primary theme Subthemes Illustrative quotes
Risks to well-being Communication impairment and disability Amy, Interview 3 Kevin, Interview 2 Dawn, Interview 5
I: What's your talk like? I: Anything else that's hard for you? I: Tell me about your talking.
P: Sometimes I get mixed up. P: Em talking. P: I don't think I like should be in the language because my voice like, my talk is good.
I: Do you? Like what? Like mix up the words or mix up what you want to say? I: Ok let's put that one down. Can you tell me about the talking? I: Yeah, you don't think you should be here?
P: Both of them. P: Em I think it was last Thursday that I was reading English and eh somebody didn't didn't I think somebody didn't understand me. P: My talk is good.
I: Who was the somebody? I: Your talk is good.
P: I don't know. P: I know all words.
I: Was it one of the kids in the class or the teacher?
P: One of the kids in the class.
I: How do you feel when that happened?
P: I feel a little bit upset.
I: A little bit upset.
P: But I ignore it.
Difficulties with relationships Sara, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 1 Hannah, Interview 2
I: Your mam was saying that school] I: What else is different about the language class? I: And tell me about your new school?
P: [Was not the greatest place… P: Some of not most of your friends are in it. P: Some people were bullying me.
P: I get trouble in with friends. I: Most of your friends are in it? I: Ok, and what happened?
I: You get into trouble with friends? P: Not most of your friends are in it. P: They got in trouble.
P: No. Like I don't really have much friends. I get alone lots of time…Well I don't really have much to talk too much people to talk with. So then there's not really much people to play with. Dawn, Interview 6 I: And who did you tell?
I: Tell me about the playground? P: The teacher.
P: Sometimes we play soccer and sometimes, sometimes we'll just, sometimes they'll be out of school and you won't, you like, you won't have anyone to play with. I: You told the teacher. And what were they doing?
P: They hitting me.
Concern about academic achievement Torres, Interview 6 Dawn, Interview 6 Mary, Interview 1
I: Tell me about your new class. I: I was going to ask you about school and how school is going? P: You see sometimes I'm going down to Mrs. Kelly [resource teacher] and up in the classrooms. I don't like science and geography and something like that and I miss it. Most of it.
P: It kind of big step. Like when I'm in sixth class it will be a huge step when I going into first year [secondary school]. And then when I am in sixth year it will be a huge step to college. Sixth year is the hardest. P: The only thing I find hard in school now this year is maths. I: Ok, so you feel you miss it?
I: Really? P: Yeah and it's kind of really hard to catch up on things like my mental maths. I'm far behind.
P: I hate maths.
I: Do you? What's hard about maths?
P: Concentrating.
I: Yeah and what kind of maths are you doing?
P: Long division.
I: Oh right.
P: It's like a sum and then you write. Do you know? Ask you and then you put two lines writing the answer and then you add. First you do a sum then you add up and write that. Then you add that up and write the answer at the bottom. It's very hard.
Protective factors related to well-being Hope Blade, Interview 5 Amy, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 2
I: You talked about being left out the last day. I: When did you feel really proud of yourself? I: What would you like to be when you grow up?
P: You have to keep your hopes up and it [speech and language] will improve. P: When I won. P: Teacher.
I: Yeah, tell me about that? I: You'd like to be a teacher. And what else, let's say when you are twenty?
P: Sometimes just imagining, some days there is a marathon on and you run. P: Mrs. Smith.
I: Mrs. Smith. So you would be married?
P: Yeah
Agency Blade, Interview 3 Amy, Interview 1 Enda, Interview 2
I: Ok so rugby. Can you remember the best rugby game that you played in? I: What do you do when you are bullied? I: How would you make friends with a new person?
P: I'm really I'm good at rugby. But like they think sometimes if no good people are around them at rugby they just pass to me. They don't really pass to me like. They think I'll like screw it up and they won't give the ball to me…yeah so I'm gonna try my best and they'll see they'll see I'm going to be good at it. P: Just tell the teacher. P: Ask them “can I be your friend?”
I: Just tell the teacher? I: Yeah and have you ever done that?
P: Then I don't be her friend. P: Yeah.
Positive relationships Torres, Interview 1 (Describing his friend) Chantelle, Interview 3 Enda, Interview 5
If somebody mean he would say “don't say that to him”…Some people make fun of me. Then then after my other friends say “like like it is it is not his fault he can't talk properly.” I: How come you're best best friends? I: Ok and what do you like best about Ben?
P: She always buys me stuff in the shop and we always go down somewhere like. And what we do we do this thing a best friend thing. Like somewhere down in the the pitch we do a best friend thing. We have a picnic like me Jody Susan Kate Anna that's all. P: Well he's a good friend.
I: Ok. And what else do best friends do together? I: Is he? And what makes a good friend?
P: They make stuff. They share. I forget again. Think, oh they help them if they're stuck if they can't lift something. P: He's helpful.
I: So Ben is helpful. What would he help you with?
P: If you fell on the ground, he'd pick you up.
I: He'd pick you up. Ok. And what do you like about Evan?
P: He plays with me.
Table 3. Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.
Potential risk and protective factors related to well-being: themes arising from the interviews.×
Primary theme Subthemes Illustrative quotes
Risks to well-being Communication impairment and disability Amy, Interview 3 Kevin, Interview 2 Dawn, Interview 5
I: What's your talk like? I: Anything else that's hard for you? I: Tell me about your talking.
P: Sometimes I get mixed up. P: Em talking. P: I don't think I like should be in the language because my voice like, my talk is good.
I: Do you? Like what? Like mix up the words or mix up what you want to say? I: Ok let's put that one down. Can you tell me about the talking? I: Yeah, you don't think you should be here?
P: Both of them. P: Em I think it was last Thursday that I was reading English and eh somebody didn't didn't I think somebody didn't understand me. P: My talk is good.
I: Who was the somebody? I: Your talk is good.
P: I don't know. P: I know all words.
I: Was it one of the kids in the class or the teacher?
P: One of the kids in the class.
I: How do you feel when that happened?
P: I feel a little bit upset.
I: A little bit upset.
P: But I ignore it.
Difficulties with relationships Sara, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 1 Hannah, Interview 2
I: Your mam was saying that school] I: What else is different about the language class? I: And tell me about your new school?
P: [Was not the greatest place… P: Some of not most of your friends are in it. P: Some people were bullying me.
P: I get trouble in with friends. I: Most of your friends are in it? I: Ok, and what happened?
I: You get into trouble with friends? P: Not most of your friends are in it. P: They got in trouble.
P: No. Like I don't really have much friends. I get alone lots of time…Well I don't really have much to talk too much people to talk with. So then there's not really much people to play with. Dawn, Interview 6 I: And who did you tell?
I: Tell me about the playground? P: The teacher.
P: Sometimes we play soccer and sometimes, sometimes we'll just, sometimes they'll be out of school and you won't, you like, you won't have anyone to play with. I: You told the teacher. And what were they doing?
P: They hitting me.
Concern about academic achievement Torres, Interview 6 Dawn, Interview 6 Mary, Interview 1
I: Tell me about your new class. I: I was going to ask you about school and how school is going? P: You see sometimes I'm going down to Mrs. Kelly [resource teacher] and up in the classrooms. I don't like science and geography and something like that and I miss it. Most of it.
P: It kind of big step. Like when I'm in sixth class it will be a huge step when I going into first year [secondary school]. And then when I am in sixth year it will be a huge step to college. Sixth year is the hardest. P: The only thing I find hard in school now this year is maths. I: Ok, so you feel you miss it?
I: Really? P: Yeah and it's kind of really hard to catch up on things like my mental maths. I'm far behind.
P: I hate maths.
I: Do you? What's hard about maths?
P: Concentrating.
I: Yeah and what kind of maths are you doing?
P: Long division.
I: Oh right.
P: It's like a sum and then you write. Do you know? Ask you and then you put two lines writing the answer and then you add. First you do a sum then you add up and write that. Then you add that up and write the answer at the bottom. It's very hard.
Protective factors related to well-being Hope Blade, Interview 5 Amy, Interview 1 Dawn, Interview 2
I: You talked about being left out the last day. I: When did you feel really proud of yourself? I: What would you like to be when you grow up?
P: You have to keep your hopes up and it [speech and language] will improve. P: When I won. P: Teacher.
I: Yeah, tell me about that? I: You'd like to be a teacher. And what else, let's say when you are twenty?
P: Sometimes just imagining, some days there is a marathon on and you run. P: Mrs. Smith.
I: Mrs. Smith. So you would be married?
P: Yeah
Agency Blade, Interview 3 Amy, Interview 1 Enda, Interview 2
I: Ok so rugby. Can you remember the best rugby game that you played in? I: What do you do when you are bullied? I: How would you make friends with a new person?
P: I'm really I'm good at rugby. But like they think sometimes if no good people are around them at rugby they just pass to me. They don't really pass to me like. They think I'll like screw it up and they won't give the ball to me…yeah so I'm gonna try my best and they'll see they'll see I'm going to be good at it. P: Just tell the teacher. P: Ask them “can I be your friend?”
I: Just tell the teacher? I: Yeah and have you ever done that?
P: Then I don't be her friend. P: Yeah.
Positive relationships Torres, Interview 1 (Describing his friend) Chantelle, Interview 3 Enda, Interview 5
If somebody mean he would say “don't say that to him”…Some people make fun of me. Then then after my other friends say “like like it is it is not his fault he can't talk properly.” I: How come you're best best friends? I: Ok and what do you like best about Ben?
P: She always buys me stuff in the shop and we always go down somewhere like. And what we do we do this thing a best friend thing. Like somewhere down in the the pitch we do a best friend thing. We have a picnic like me Jody Susan Kate Anna that's all. P: Well he's a good friend.
I: Ok. And what else do best friends do together? I: Is he? And what makes a good friend?
P: They make stuff. They share. I forget again. Think, oh they help them if they're stuck if they can't lift something. P: He's helpful.
I: So Ben is helpful. What would he help you with?
P: If you fell on the ground, he'd pick you up.
I: He'd pick you up. Ok. And what do you like about Evan?
P: He plays with me.
×
Supplemental Material S1.Topic guide.
Supplemental Material S2.Transcription conventions.