Anna Blackwell

PhD Student

I graduated from the University of Bristol in 2009 with a BSc in Psychology. Following my degree I worked as a learning support assistant at a secondary school in Bristol gaining an in depth knowledge of the practical implications of speech and language impairment for children both academically and socially. I was offered a PhD studentship at the University of the West of England (UWE) in 2011 as part of a £1.2m NIHR programme grant that has been awarded to the North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and being run at the BSLTRU.

The programme grant is investigating the effectiveness of speech and language therapy interventions for preschool children with primary speech and language impairment. My PhD study aims to complement this grant. A number of case studies are being carried out to investigate the course of vocabulary development of young children with delayed language development, in the context of their communicative environment, over a period of nine months. The objective is to develop the foundations for theoretical understanding of delayed language acquisition.

As part of my PhD, a systematic review was carried out which examined studies that compared parent-child interactions with preschool children with language delay and typically developing controls.