All of our current and past Developmental Language Disorder research projects are listed on this page.
The SALDA Research Institute works with organisations and stakeholders to identify priority educational, clinical and policy issues and directly funds targeted research.
Past Research Projects
Investigating the Sensory Profiles and Motor Skills of Children with Language Disorder (Griffith University)
23 March 2020
There is currently research to support a relationship between language and motor development, as well as motor development and sensory processing, however, there is limited research linking all three areas. Sensory behaviours in children with Language Disorder is also significantly under researched. In this study, the sensory, motor and language assessment data for 28 students were extracted from the larger retrospective study outlined above. Atypical sensory behaviours were found in children with Language Disorder, but not as significant as other populations (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder). Children with poorer language skills were also found to have poorer motor skills. These findings support the importance of multidisciplinary support for students with Language Disorder, particularly highlight the essential skills of occupational therapists in the team.Visit website
Measuring Language Progress in Students with Developmental Language Disorder while Attending a Specialist School (Griffith University)
1 March 2018
Throughout 2016, the demographic and multidisciplinary assessment data of the 245 students who attended The Glenleighden School from 2005-2015 was extracted. The research team investigated whether students with Developmental Language Disorder demonstrate improvement in receptive and/or expressive language skills on the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals (CELF) following attendance at The Glenleighden School. The study focused on 64 students in the larger dataset who had assessment results when they started and at one other time point while at school. Results showed significant improvement in the student’s receptive and expressive language during their enrolment at the school with some accelerated improvement. These results are promising and provide some initial evidence for the effectiveness of The Glenleighden School promoting language growth in their students.
These findings were presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference in Sydney and the paper has been accepted for publication following peer-review in the Journal of Clinical Practice in Speech-Language Pathology’s special edition on Developmental Language Disorder in March 2018.Visit website
Staff Knowledge and Use of Evidence Based Practice (Griffith University)
Staff across SALDA’s services participated in a questionnaire style study, which investigated evidence-based practice in the work environment, knowledge and use of intervention practices and their own attitudes towards intervention. This study is important because Language Disorder continues to be an underfunded area of research. In fact, there are three times more studies on dyslexia and ten times more studies on speech sound disorders, which impacts practitioner’s abilities to provide evidence informed treatment for Language Disorder. Over many years this has resulted in a wide range of interventions being utilised by staff.
A high correlation between the interventions used and the staff member’s knowledge of these interventions was found. Further work is planned to review the evidence underpinning these interventions. It is positive to note staff felt there were resources, cultural expectations and supervisory expectations to utilise evidence-based practice. Overall, staff at SALDA believe there is a great need to utilise research when working with children and young people with Language Disorder. These findings were presented at the Speech Pathology Australia National Conference in Sydney and a manuscript is being written for publication in a peer-reviewed journal in 2018.
Activities and Participation of Children with Language Disorder (Australian Catholic University)
In 2017, students and families from The Glenleighden School were invited to participate in a Honour’s research project through the Australian Catholic University. This research considered the limitations in social participation as a result of having Language Disorder. Knowledge of the participation patterns of children with Language Disorder is limited, yet identification of participation patterns would be beneficial when developing speech pathology interventions. This study compared the participation of primary school-aged children diagnosed with Language Disorder or Language Disorder with comorbid diagnoses with that of their typically developing peers. A total of nineteen children participated and their participation was assessed in the areas of recreational, physical, social, skill based and self-improvement activities. The researchers found participants with Language Disorder did not have as diverse a range of formal activities than their typically developing peers, and students with comorbidities even less so.