Her report from the visit has just been published here: http://www.wcmt.org.uk/users/suzannechurcher2016. Here is a quote from page 9 of the report
- There was ubiquitous agreement that the age of the child was not a primary factor in the clinical decision making process, with regard to exclusion of target of intervention.
- Like the UK, Australia sometimes has to respond to resource demands and pressures but this is not due to evidence of ineffectiveness in this age group.
- There is evidence that both Australia and the UK respond to need using approaches that may have similar theoretical underpinning. This needs further investigation and research.
- Australia is using a wider range of evidence based interventions with children of all ages than both my experience and the current research would suggest.
- SLPs in Australia reported regular easier access to research. They have three professional publications; SpeakOUT, the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology (JCPSLP) and the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (IJSLP) and online access to full articles.
- It is vital that we ensure that service development does not exclude children from intervention based on a lack of empirical data.
- Intervention for speech in the preschool population requires continued development of an evidence base.
- We must continue to strengthen our more systematic approach to the assessment and intervention of children with SLCN (speech, language and communication needs).
- The profession as a whole will benefit from international collaboration and the development of EBP (evidence-based practice) across the age ranges and, on occasion, disciplines.
- Increased collaboration between universities and practicing clinicians is highly recommended.