January 31, 2018

Honourable Michael Kirby lecture on human rights law at CSU

Today the Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG presented a public lecture at Charles Sturt University titled: "International Human Rights Law: Challenges at Home and in the Region".
He spoke about how in 1949 he received a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (on airmail paper) at school, and how discussion of this document influenced his path into law. Two of his most recent appointments have been as Chair of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights Violations in North Korea for 2013-2014, and the UNAIDS/OHCHR's panel on the overreach of criminal law.
Read more at http://news.csu.edu.au/events/bathurst/public-lecture-by-the-honourable-michael-kirby-ac-cmg

Honourable Michael Kirby

January 30, 2018

Intelligibility Enhancement in English for multilingual speakers

Helen Blake is presenting an online seminar titled "Intelligibility Enhancement in English for multilingual speakers" on 24 April 2018. The seminar is sponsored by Speech Pathology Australia and more details are here.
(UPDATE new title and new date "Updating accent modification practice: Intelligibility Enhancement for multilingual speakers"- https://www.cpdlive.com/speechpath/seminars4/7633/preview.html)

The abstract is here:
This event aims to support speech-language pathologists working with multilingual adults to enhance their intelligibility in English. Clinicians working in Intelligibility Enhancement, as in any area of clinical practice, need information not only to make appropriate clinical decisions, but also to better understand the needs of clients in order to advocate for and empower them. This webinar will review the literature and terminology relating to Intelligibility Enhancement and multilingual speakers in Australia. Presentation of principles for assessment and intervention will be supplemented with specific examples from different languages.

Elements of phonological interventions for children with speech sound disorders: The development of a taxonomy

The following manuscript has been accepted for publication:
Baker, E., Williams, A. L., McLeod, S., & McCauley, R. J. (2018, in press January). Elements of phonological interventions for children with speech sound disorders: The development of a taxonomy. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.

This manuscript has been the result of many years of collaboration, beginning at a research retreat in San Diego in 2011. I believe the manuscript makes a really important contribution to our understanding of the elements (or ingredients) that are required for undertaking intervention for children with speech sound disorders.

Here is the abstract:
Purpose: Our aim was to develop a taxonomy of elements comprising phonological interventions for children with speech sound disorders.
Method: We conducted a content analysis of 15 empirically supported phonological interventions to identify and describe intervention elements. Measures of element concentration, flexibility, and distinctiveness were used to compare and contrast interventions.
Results: Seventy-two intervention elements were identified using a content analysis of intervention descriptions, then arranged to form the Phonological Intervention Taxonomy: a hierarchical framework comprising 4 domains, 15 categories, and 9 subcategories. Across interventions, mean element concentration (number of required or optional elements) was 45, with a range of 27 to 59 elements. Mean flexibility of interventions (percentage of elements considered optional out of all elements included in the intervention) was 44%, with a range of 29% to 62%. Distinctiveness of interventions (percentage of an intervention’s rare elements and omitted common elements out of all elements included in the intervention [both optional and required]) ranged from 0% to 30%.
Conclusions: An understanding of the elements that comprise interventions and a taxonomy that describes their structural relationships can provide insight into similarities and differences between interventions, help in the identification of elements that drive treatment effects, and facilitate faithful implementation or intervention modification. Research is needed to distil active elements, and, identify strategies that best facilitate replication and implementation.
Lynn, Rebecca and Elise analysing data to develop the taxonomy in 2011
Sharynne, Lynn, Rebecca and Elise at our research retreat in San Diego in 2011

January 28, 2018

3 papers rejected in just over a week

While this blog mainly focuses on papers, books and chapters that have been published and conference papers that have been presented, it is also important to acknowledge that these gains are not always made easily. Today marks my third paper rejected in just over a week! The papers were on three completely different topics, submitted to three completely different journals across the globe, with three completely different sets of co-authors. Our team works hard to undertake high quality research, and write high quality papers, but journals consider a range of factors when recommending publication. The reviewers' and editors' comments were very helpful, and we will take these into consideration to develop our work further. I have written this blog entry because it is important to share all aspects of the journey of research, not just the successes (we have had two journal articles published in 2018 already).

January 27, 2018

Invitation to co-present a short course at ASHA in Boston

I have been invited to co-present a short course at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Boston in November by Dr. Kelly Farquharson, the topic chair of the speech sound disorders committee. This morning (Australian time), Kelly, Holly Storkel and I met to plan it - it is going to be great!
Sharynne's view of the conversation
Kelly's view of the conversation

January 24, 2018

Prevalence of childhood speech sound disorders

In our role as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Child Speech committee of the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics, Dr Yvonne Wren and I have compiled the following information about prevalence of childhood speech sound disorders.

In a systematic review, prevalence estimates for childhood speech delay only ranged from 2.3 to 24.6% (Law et al., 2000). Since this systematic review, additional prevalence studies have been published.:
  • 25.2% parent-identified concerns about how their child “talked and made speech sounds” (11.8% “concerned”; 13.4% “a little concerned”) (n = 4,983; 4-5 years) (McLeod & Harrison, 2009) 
  • 12.0% parent-identified “speech not clear to others” (n = 4,983; 4-5 years) (McLeod & Harrison, 2009) 
  • 8.7% diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist with “isolated speech impairment”, and 14.3% with “comorbid speech and language impairment” (n = 308; school students) (Jessup, Ward, Cahill & Keating, 2008) 
  • 3.8% classified as having speech delay using the Speech Disorders Classification System and stimuli from conversational speech samples and a published word articulation test (n = 1,328; 6 years) (Shriberg, Tomblin & McSweeny, 1999) 
  • 3.6% identified as having persistent speech sound disorder in a large population study using > 1.2 standard deviations below the mean on percentage consonants correct scores taken from connected speech samples (n = 7,390; 8 years) (Wren et al., 2016) 
  • 3.4% achieved a standard score performance of ≤79 on a speech assessment (n = 1,494; 4 years) (Eadie et al., 2014) 
  • 1.7% parent-identified “speech disorders” (n = 12,388; 0-14 years) (Keating, Turrell, & Ozanne 2001) 
  • 1.06% teacher-identified “speech sound disorders” (n = 10,425; school students) (McKinnon, McLeod, & Reilly, 2007) 
Period prevalence of childhood speech sound disorders
  • United Kingdom: The Middlesbrough Primary Care Trust of the reported period prevalence of speech difficulties was 29.1%, compared with receptive language difficulties (20.4%), expressive language difficulties (16.9%), dysfluency (5.3%), and voice or nasality disruption (2.0%) (Broomfield & Dodd, 2004) 
  • United States: 55.8% of children in grades K-3 were scored on speech sound disorder and 74.7% of Pre-K students were scored on the articulation/ intelligibility ASHA Functional Communication Measures (n = >16,000 students) (Mullen & Schooling, 2010) 

Broomfield, J., & Dodd, B. (2004a). Children with speech and language disability: Caseload characteristics. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 39(3), 303-324. 

Eadie, P., Morgan, A., Ukoumunne, O. C., Ttofari Eecen, K., Wake, M., & Reilly, S. (2015). Speech sound disorder at 4 years: Prevalence, comorbidities, and predictors in a community cohort of children. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 57(6), 578-584. doi:10.1111/dmcn.12635 

Jessup, B., Ward, E., Cahill, L., & Keating, D. (2008). Prevalence of speech and/or language impairment in preparatory students in northern Tasmania. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 10(5), 364 - 377. 

Keating, D., Turrell, G., & Ozanne, A. (2001). Childhood speech disorders: Reported prevalence, comorbidity and socioeconomic profile. Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health, 37(5), 431-436. 

Law, J., Boyle, J., Harris, F., Harkness, A., & Nye, C. (2000). Prevalence and natural history of primary speech and language delay: Findings from a systematic review of the literature. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 35(2), 165-188. 

McKinnon, D. H., McLeod, S., & Reilly, S. (2007). The prevalence of stuttering, voice, and speech-sound disorders in primary school students in Australia. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38(1), 5-15. 

McLeod, S., & Harrison, L. J. (2009). Epidemiology of speech and language impairment in a nationally representative sample of 4- to 5-year-old children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 52(5), 1213-1229. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2009/08-0085) 

Mullen, R., & Schooling, T. (2010). The National Outcomes Measurement System for pediatric speech-language pathology. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 41, 44-60. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-0051) 

Shriberg, L. D., Tomblin, J. B. & McSweeny, J. L. (1999). Prevalence of speech delay in 6-year-old children and co-morbidity with language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 42, 1461-1481. 

Wren, Y., Roulstone, S., Miller, L.L., Emond, A. & Peters, T. (2016). The prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors of persistent speech disorder. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 59, 647-673. 

Compiled by Sharynne McLeod, Charles Sturt University and Yvonne Wren, University of Bristol - 2018

January 23, 2018

WHO in Fiji

This morning Dr Suzanne Hopf and I met with Darryl Barrett, Technical Lead Disabilities and Rehabilitation, Regional Office for the Western Pacific for the World Health Organization. We discussed ways we can support the work of WHO in Fiji.
He highlighted his website: http://www.wpro.who.int/rehabilitation/en/ and their most recent report. Here are a few key quotes from the report:
Rehabilitation and Disability in the Western Pacific
  • "In 70% of countries in the Western Pacific Region, speech and occupational therapy is not available in the majority of their tertiary hospitals." (p. 18) 
  • "Occupational therapy and speech pathology are extremely limited in the lower middle-income countries and almost nonexistent in the Pacific island countries." (p. 24) 
  • "In Pacific island countries, occupational therapy, rehabilitation medicine and speech pathology are not available in over 50% of tertiary hospitals. The Pacific island countries reported that some rehabilitation services are sometimes provided by “fly-in missions” from high-income countries and international volunteers, but not in substantial numbers." (p. 25)

January 22, 2018

Working with Dr Audrey Wang

Next week Dr Audrey Wang's postdoctoral research fellowship ends. Over her time working at CSU I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Audrey on numerous grants and publications. She also has co-supervised and supported many of my PhD students (including Dr Sarah Masso and Dr Suzanne Hopf) and has taught them their EER502 Quantitative Research Methods. Here is a list of publications and grants we have worked on together. I look forward to future collaborations.
Journal articles
1. Wang, C., Harrison, L. J., McLeod, S., Walker, S., & Spilt, J. L. (2017, in press). Can teacher-child relationships support human rights to freedom of opinion and expression, education, and participation? International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology.
2. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S., McDonagh, S., Wang, C., & Rakanace, E. (2017, in press). Communication disability in Fiji: Community self-help and help-seeking support. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. doi:10.1080/17549507.2017.1337226
3. Masso, S., Baker, E., McLeod, S., & Wang, C. (2017). Polysyllable speech accuracy and predictors of later literacy development in preschool children with speech sound disorders. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 1877-1890. doi:10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0171
4. Masso, S., McLeod, S., Wang, A. & Baker, E., & McCormack, J. (2017). Longitudinal changes in polysyllable maturity of preschool children with speech sound disorders. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 31, 424-439. doi:10.1080/02699206.2017.1305450

with 3 additional manuscripts in submission. 
Commissioned reports
5. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., Wang, C. & Verdon, S. (2017). Indigenous Australian children’s speech and language: Academic outcomes and access to services. Technical report. Bathurst, Australia: Charles Sturt University.
6. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & Wang, C. (2015). NAPLAN outcomes for children identified with speech and language difficulties at age 4 to 5 years: Initial Report. Bathurst, Australia: Charles Sturt University.
7. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., & Wang, C. (2015). NAPLAN outcomes for children identified with speech and language difficulties in early childhood: Second Report. Bathurst, Australia: Charles Sturt University.
8. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., Wang, C. & Verdon, S. (2017). Indigenous Australian children’s speech and language: Academic outcomes and access to services. Commissioned research by Speech Pathology Australia.
9. McLeod, S., Harrison, L. J., Wang, C. (2015). NAPLAN outcomes and trajectories for children identified with speech and language difficulties at age 4 to 5 years. Commissioned research by Speech Pathology Australia.

Waiting for speech pathology website - under construction

During December and January we have been meant to be on leave; however, with deadlines looming for the beginning of our Waiting for Speech Pathology randomised controlled trial, we have had to finalise the website (one of the intervention conditions for the participants). Nicole McGill has been busily working on the content, cartoons, related websites and running focus groups.  Katrina Rohr,  Angela Roberts and Emily Davis have been working on creating handouts. Kate Hennessy has been creating the site. The rest of the team has been providing feedback on all of the processes. The website won't be publicly available until 2019 (after testing in our research), but here is a glimpse of how it currently looks.
Website home page
Cartoon created by Nicole McGill

Visit from Bronwyn Hemsley

Yesterday Prof. Bronwyn Hemsley visited Bathurst. We discussed many things including her new appointment as Chair of Speech Pathology Masters Program at @UTSEngage Graduate School of Health. We also planned a social media campaign for the special issue of the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (#StandUp4HumanRights, #SpeakUp4CommRights). She also gave me another Twitter lesson. It was great to catch up in Bathurst.

January 20, 2018

First publications for 2018

At the end of 2017 my colleagues and I had 8 papers that had been accepted but were still in press (some had been accepted in 2016). It is great to see two of these are now published with 2018 publication dates:
  1. Hopf, S. C., McLeod, S. & McDonagh, S. H. (2018). Linguistic multi-competence of Fiji school students and their conversational partners. International Journal of Multilingualism, 15(1), 72-91. doi:10.1080/14790718.2016.1241256
    Free access: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/dF57kmKWGJWdv8qpW9WB/full
  2. Masso, S., McLeod, S. & Baker, E. (2018). Tutorial: Assessment and analysis of polysyllables in young children. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 42-58. doi:10.1044/2017_LSHSS-16-0047
These papers were written with Dr Suzanne Hopf and Dr Sarah Masso as part of their PhD theses.

January 4, 2018

Exciting developments for speech therapy in Vietnam

Over the past few days Professor Lindy McAllister has been visiting and sharing updates about the speech therapy profession in Vietnam and the involvement of the Trinh Foundation. Plans are underway to begin new masters and bachelors courses. This will bolster speech therapy and provide further recognition of this profession in Vietnam.
The Trinh Foundation Annual Report for 2017 is here, and includes mention of Ben Pham and myself.A summary from US Aid is here.
Sharynne, Prof Lindy McAllister, Ben Pham