September 25, 2012

Moderating comments on the position paper

Since June, I have been working with the International Expert Panel on Multilingual Children's Speech to develop a position paper on multilingual children with speech sound disorders (see post from June, 2012). Dr Caroline Bowen came to Bathurst on Thursday 20th and Monday 24th September to moderate the comments on the penultimate version of the draft. We worked with Sarah Verdon to integrate 21 versions of the document sent to us from people across the world, as well as the comments received via email and Google docs. The international collaboration has been outstanding. We are finalising the paper at the moment, and hope that in a few months it will be broadly available as an aspirational document for children, families, speech-language pathologists and other professionals we collaborate with.
Dr. Caroline Bowen and Sharynne working on the Multilingual Children with Speech Sound Disorders Position Paper

September 23, 2012

Congratulations to the speech therapy graduates in Viet Nam

On Friday 21st September, the first cohort of students graduated from the speech therapy course at Pham Ngoc Thach University of Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. I was very sorry that I could not be with them at their graduation to celebrate this very important achievement.

When I was teaching the students in 2011, I was impressed by their hard work, thirst for knowledge, and aim to make a difference in the lives of the people of Viet Nam.

September 19, 2012

Designs and decisions: The creation of informal measures for assessing speech production in children

Today Nicole Limbrick submitted her thesis as part of her Bachelor of Health Science (Speech Pathology) (Honours) degree at Charles Sturt University. Jane McCormack and I have really enjoyed supervising her, and have been very proud that already she has presented her work at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference and submitted her work for consideration in an international journal.

Nicole Limbrick, Jane McCormack and the honours thesis!
Here is the title and abstract of her thesis:

Designs and decisions: The creation of informal measures for assessing speech production in children
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) frequently assess children’s speech to diagnose and identify areas of difficulty, then determine appropriate intervention goals. Formal measures are available for assessment; however, many SLPs use informal measures within clinical practice. The purpose of this two-part mixed methods study was to describe and explore the creation of informal measures for the assessment of children’s speech. Study 1 involved a systematic review of 39 informal measures identified via journal database and internet searches, scanning of reference lists, and submission by SLPs and researchers. The measures were reviewed in terms of their conceptualisation (purpose and scope) and operationalisation (evaluation and validation). Common conceptual features included assessment of consonant singletons, single word sampling, computer format, and picture-naming to elicit target sounds. Few measures provided information addressing the operational criteria. Study 2 involved an inductive thematic analysis of journal entries from eight creators of informal measures that explored key considerations in the conceptualisation of these measures. Informal measures were created due to the absence of measures which were culturally appropriate and sufficiently comprehensive, as well as a desire to incorporate technology. Considerations in the creation of informal measures included the engagement of children and the measure’s useability. Informal measures reviewed in study 1 largely reflected the considerations described by creators in study 2. Informal measures featured innovative ideas which could be incorporated in future test development.

September 7, 2012

Wholistic learning during a PhD

When working with my PhD students I aim to teach them about more than research, children, and speech-language pathology. Today I took Kate Crowe and Sarah Verdon on an excursion to the Sommerville Collection (to broaden our minds) followed by icecreams (to broaden our figures?!).

September 4, 2012

ARC Future Fellows

Today A/Prof Kirrie Ballard, from The University of Sydney visited Charles Sturt University. She has just been named an Australian Research Council Future Fellow for 2013-2016. There are a number of ARC Future Fellows in speech pathology, although most of the projects involve working with adults, rather than children: Miranda Rose (LaTrobe), David Copeland (UQ), Lyndsay Nickels (Macquarie), Kirrie Ballard (Sydney), and myself (CSU).
Susan Danby (QUT), a member of the Early Years Education Collaborative Research Network has also been named a Future Fellow for 2013-2016.
Sarah Verdon, Sharynne, and Kirrie Ballard (University of Sydney)

Book review: Listening to children and young people

A review of our book has just been published:

Nicoll, H., & Campbell, L. (2012). Book review: Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 47(5), 618-618. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-6984.2012.00179.x

Here is the concluding paragraph:

"In summary, this volume profiles the voice of children and young people with SLCN. One of its main strengths is that it provides a variety of successful strategies for including the young person in the research process. It collates essays from advocates, professionals and young people themselves on the importance of being heard."

September 3, 2012

Universities are for children too

On Sunday Charles Sturt University hosted Kids Day Out, a community day for local families to enjoy the university grounds, and to raise money for local children's charities. There were ponies, donkeys, bunnies, jumping castles, rides, bands, and lots of children.