Texts for Talking: Evaluation of a Mobile Health Program Addressing Speech and Language Delay

Kaitlyn B. Olson, Carol L. Wilkinson, M. Jackson Wilkinson, Jamal Harris, Amy Whittle

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Speech and language delays are common developmental disorders that can lead to long-term academic and psychosocial impairments. Affected families often benefit from instruction in cultivating a language-rich home environment. This study investigated the feasibility of utilizing text messaging to deliver developmental education to families. Parents of children aged 11 to 36 months with concerning language development were enrolled in a 3-month text messaging program. Pre-program and post-program telephone surveys were completed. All enrolled parents were of low socioeconomic status, and 48% were monolingual Spanish speakers. A total of 27 parents (87%) completed the program and follow-up survey. After program completion, parents reported increased awareness of language-promoting activities and local child development resources (P =.002; P =.005). Parents also reported increased engagement in language-promoting activities (P =.004). The marginal program cost was 37 cents per participant. Findings from this pilot study indicate that text messaging is a feasible, engaging, and inexpensive platform for delivering developmental education to families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1044-1049
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • SMS
  • child development
  • early childhood
  • low income
  • parent education
  • text messages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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