Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Communication Disorders]]> vol. 70 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>A shared reading intervention: Changing perceptions of caregivers in a semi-rural township</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Many caregivers from low-middle income (LMI) households consider that preschool children are too young for shared book reading. Thus, many caregivers are unaware of their potentially powerful role in their children's emergent literacy and communication OBJECTIVES: To describe (1) caregivers' perceptions of shared reading, (2) caregivers' perceptions of barriers to shared reading and (3) changes in these perceptions following a short intervention. METHOD: A qualitative methodology was used to understand the perceptions of 40 caregivers from a semi-rural South African township. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted before and after intervention. The intervention was a short training video about shared reading. RESULTS: Caregivers described the unfamiliar reading culture and viewed reading as an educational activity that they knew little about. Barriers to shared reading included lack of time, few reading materials and low levels of literacy or lack of exposure to this type of activity. Following the intervention, they acknowledged the importance of shared reading, described growing confidence in their shared reading abilities and closer relationships with their children. CONCLUSION: Speech-language therapists (SLTs) have a pivotal role to play in caregiver training of emergent literacy skills and can make a marked impact in guiding caregivers' shared reading. A short video-based intervention can alter caregiver perceptions and practices, which may be the first step in changing behaviours. CONTRIBUTION: The study provides an example of a simple and cost-effective intervention that changed caregiver perception and caregivers' reported shared reading practice. <![CDATA[<b>Ten years' experience with bone conduction hearing aids in the Western Cape, South Africa</b>]]> Untreated conductive and mixed hearing losses as a result of middle ear pathology or congenital ear malformations can lead to poor speech, language and academic outcomes in children. Lack of access to centralised hearing healthcare in resource-constrained environments limits opportunities for children with hearing loss. Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital (RCWMCH) is one of only two dedicated paediatric hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa. Between 2016 and 2021, 29 children received implanted bone conduction hearing devices, and 104 children were fitted with bone conduction devices on softbands. The authors' experience at RCWMCH suggests that bone-anchored hearing devices, either fitted on softbands or on implanted abutments, can provide solutions in settings where patients have limited access to hearing healthcare and optimal classroom environments. Hearing healthcare should be accessible and delivered at the appropriate level of care to mitigate the adverse effects of hearing loss in children. CONTRIBUTION: This article describes strategies employed at RCWMCH such as fitting bone conduction hearing devices on a softband immediately after hearing loss diagnosis and conducting follow-up via remote technology to make hearing healthcare more accessible to vulnerable populations.