August 2, 2016

Churchill Scholar: Early intervention for children with speech difficulties

Suzanne Churcher is visiting Charles Sturt University this week as part of her Winston Churchill Fellowship. She is from the University of Portsmouth, UK. While in Bathurst she is presenting a Brown Bag seminar to CSU staff and community members and visiting speech pathologists at the Bathurst and Orange Community Health Centres. She has discussed her work with my PhD students and colleagues including Ben Pham, Anna Cronin, A/Prof Fran Press, and Dr Loraine Fordham
Here is a portion of her abstract:
I applied to the Winston Churchill Trust to investigate early intervention for children with speech difficulties. As a speech and language therapist with many years of experience, across the UK, particularly within early years and early intervention, I was curious as to why direct therapy for children targeting the remediation of speech difficulties appeared to be inconsistently offered. Some service providers offered a specific pathway without barriers in terms of age, as long as the presenting features of the child suggested a potential disorder, others had either a minimum referral age to services and or offered a broad often 'language' based intervention or 'watchful waiting' approach to input, almost irrespective of how the child presented. Arguably Australia leads the English-speaking world in its knowledge and evidence base in the approach to treatment for children with speech disorder. Certainly a large body of the contemporary academic works and research articles that have influenced professional knowledge in the last ten years were conducted in collaboration with Australian researchers. I therefore developed the proposed investigation: What do Australian speech pathologists do in terms of therapeutic delivery to young children with speech sound difficulties?
Suzanne on Wattle Day (1st August)
Sharynne and Suzanne
Suzanne and Ben with the Bathurst speech pathologists