July 9, 2015

Australasian Human Development Association Conference, Wellington, NZ

Today the Australasian Human Development Association conference began in Wellington, New Zealand. During the conference the following symposium will be presented: Supporting the development of children with speech and language difficulties in the early years. Here is the abstract:
The early years of school are an important and challenging transition stage for all children, but for those with speech and language impairment (communication disorder), it may be additionally challenging. Children with expressive and receptive language impairment are likely to have difficulties coping with the academic demands of school and receive poorer ratings of social and emotional competence (Law et al., 2000; McCormack et al., 2011). However, speech and language impairment (communication disorder) is highly prevalent in the early years being identified as the second most prevalent learning need after learning disability (McLeod & McKinnon, 2007). This symposium presents four papers focusing on the identification and support of children with speech and language difficulties in early childhood.  Paper 1 examines the longitudinal development of Teacher-child relationships and school adjustment outcomes among children with and without communication impairments in a large, representative sample of children from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Paper 2 focuses on an investigation of the practices of both Speech and Language Pathologists and Early Childhood Educators when working with children with communication difficulties in early year’s settings. Paper 3 examines relationships between two alternate methods of speech and children’s emergent literacy skills to identify children who may be at greatest risk of later literacy difficulties. Finally, paper 4 describes the language use and language maintenance of multi-lingual children across the early years in a large, representative sample of children from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children. 
The papers in the symposium include:
  •  Masso, S. Baker, E., & McLeod, S. The story of the echidna and the calculator: Using children’s pronunciation of polysyllables to gain insight into phonological processing and emergent literacy skills.  
  • Verdon, S., McLeod, S. & Wong, S. Supporting multilingual children’s language development in the early years
  • Harrison, L. J., Wang, C., McLeod, S., & Walker, S. Trajectories of teacher-student relationship quality during primary school in children with and without communication impairment and student outcomes at age 12-13.
The individual papers' abstracts are here.
Presenters (L-R): Catherine Easton, Linda Harrison, Audrey Wang,
Sue Walker, Sarah Verdon, Sarah Masso