Research & Advocacy

Developmental Language Disorder affects approximately 1 in 14 children and presents as a lifelong disability of language difficulties persisting after entry to school.

The emotional and financial impact to families is considerable. Relative to the impact of the disability, there remains a significant gap between research and practice. The outcomes of specific interventions have not been systematically assessed and measured, which poses a gap in this field of research that needs to be addressed. As the nation’s peak body supporting and advocating for the needs of young people with speech, language and related disorders, Speech & Language Development Australia (SALDA) is well placed to assist in closing that gap.

SALDA continues to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to raising awareness for children and young people with Developmental Language Disorder. Through long term relationships, SALDA has been able to share our vision for Developmental Language Disorder with Local, State and Federal governments. The organisation has also been able to represent the interests of children and young people across various forums, which provide opportunities to educate others on the importance of language development. While many people have not heard of Development Language Disorder, continuing conversations will ultimately lead to increased awareness and positive outcomes.

The best way to discuss current or potential research or advocating for people with Developmental Language Disorder is to fill out the below form, or call 1300 881 763.

  • In 2017, Shaun Ziegenfusz was appointed to the new role of Manager, Research & Advocacy. He is a certified practicing speech pathologist with a Master of Special Education (Early Childhood & Leadership) degree. Shaun is currently undertaking a Higher Degree in Research at Griffith University, where he is investigating the educational needs of students with Developmental Language Disorder.

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  • Current Research Projects Evaluating Language Progress of Students with Developmental Language Disorder using Language Sample Analysis (Griffith University) This study aimed to measure the progress students made over the course of a year at The Glenleighden School. Baseline measures were taken at the start of 2016 across multiple developmental…

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  • Ziegenfusz, S., Coughlan, A., Paynter, J., Simpson, K., & Westerveld, M.F. (2018). Measuring language progress in students with Developmental Language Disorder while attending a specialist school: A retrospective analysis. Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, 20(1), 3-7.

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  • 1 in 14 children have a hidden disability called Developmental Language Disorder. That’s around 1.7million people in Australia alone. Children and young people with Developmental Language Disorder are as able and healthy as other children. With one primary exception: they have difficulty thinking about, understanding and using language. They…

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  • Speech & Language Development Australia is proud to collaborate with national and international partners to help the 1 in 14 children with Developmental Language Disorder to find their voice. We thank these partners for making a difference to the lives of 1 in 14 young people with Developmental Language…

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