Developmental Speech and Language Disorders

Developmental Speech and Language Disorders

Speech and language disorders are common in childhood and are often associated with long-term consequences into adulthood. The Developmental Speech and Language Disorders research group at Macquarie University consists of speech pathology researchers who are not only interested in the disorders but who are also interested in improving the quality of life in the individuals with speech and language disorders. The overarching aim of our research group is to generate knowledge and evidence that will make tangible contributions to speech pathology clinical practice and to the lives of individuals with developmental speech and language disorders.

Areas of interest

  • Speech pathology service delivery and design
  • Evidence based speech pathology intervention for children
  • Speech and language disorders in bilingual children
  • Intervention for stuttering in younger and older children

Current projects

Language acquisition in young children with hearing loss enrolled in early intervention

Aleisha Davis, Dr Elisabeth Harrison, Professor Robert Cowan

Children receiving cochlear implants early in life vary in their acquisition of language. This series of projects will explore the complex relationships affecting language acquisition by children following early cochlear implantation and evaluate the impact of specific features of children’s individual profiles, including type of hearing loss, cultural background, family languages, modes of habilitation, and health conditions.

Stuttering in conjunction with other communication disorders in children: Investigating complexity

Dr Rachael Unicomb, Dr Sally Hewat, Dr Elisabeth Harrison

It is well known that stuttering can co-occur with other communication disorders and health conditions. When children who stutter and have an additional speech or language difficulty present to clinics, decisions about intervention can be troublesome because currently available results of stuttering clinical trials research exclude such children for methodological reasons. To supplement the current treatment evidence base, research is needed that includes children with more complex presentations of stuttering. The aim of this research project is to begin this process by a) investigating community clinicians’ perceptions of the constituents of complex presentations of early childhood stuttering; and b) investigating experienced clinicians’ management of complex presentations of stuttering in children.

Speech and language disorders in Korean-English bilingual children

Dr Jae-Hyun Kim, Danielle Kim, Dr Alison Holm, Dr Gayle Hemsley, Professor Barbara Dodd

This ongoing project aims to generate knowledge about typical characteristics of speech and language development in Korean-English bilingual children and to generate knowledge to facilitate clinical assessment and treatment for Korean-English bilingual children with speech and language disorders.

First generation immigrant parents’ experiences of raising a child with a communication disorder

Dr Jae-Hyun Kim, Dr Peter Roger, Dr Jessie Wilson

This project aims to explore experiences of first generation immigrant parents who are raising a child with communication disorders in Australia; and experiences of speech pathologists who are working with them. We consider the implications for service provision and access to healthcare for immigrants in Australia.

Master of Speech and Language Pathology research projects

Kelsey Brady, Ashlee Jaensch, Dr Elisabeth Harrison, Dr Jae-Hyun Kim

Master of Speech and Language Pathology students conduct a year-long research project supervised by the academic staff, and often in collaboration with community speech pathologists, in the areas of developmental speech and language disorders. Current research projects include teacher-speech pathologist collaboration to support students with language disorders in schools and improving treatment outcomes for children with hearing loss.

Our people

Academic staff

Elisabeth Harrison
Jae-Hyun Kim

Research students

Aleisha Davis
Kelsey Brady
Ashlee Jaensch

Collaborators

Professor Robert Cowan (HEARing CRC, The University of Melbourne), Dr Sally Hewat (The University of Newcastle), Dr Rachael Unicomb (The University of Newcastle); Danielle Kim (Seed Therapy & Learning), Dr Alison Holm (Griffith University), Dr Gayle Hemsley (Griffith University), Professor Barbara Dodd (The University of Melbourne), Dr Peter Roger (Applied Linguistics, Macquarie University), Dr Jessie Wilson (Western University, Canada)

Contact Us

For further information about developmental speech and language disorders research in the Department of Linguistics or to enquire about research supervision in this area, please contact Dr Jae-Hyun Kim.

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