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.

Our people

Academic staff

Elisabeth Harrison
Jae-Hyun Kim

Research students

Aleisha Davis


Professor Robert Cowan (HEARing CRC, The University of Melbourne), Dr Sally Hewat (The University of Newcastle), Dr Rachael Unicomb (The University of Newcastle)

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.

Content owner: Department of Linguistics Last updated: 12 Mar 2020 11:02am

Back to the top of this page