Current Project Highlights

Lena Studies

BSLTRU are currently using LENA technology in a number of studies.


LENA stands for Language Environment Analysis and provides equipment for recording children in the home environment. It also analyses the types of interactions which children are exposed to. 


The following video/film shows how LENA can be used to record children at home.

Sound Start Study

The Sound Start Study is a research project funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant and conducted by researchers from Charles Sturt University, The University of Sydney, and The University of the West of England. The Sound Start Study focuses on 4- to 5-year-old children who are attending preschool. The main aims of this study are to investigate the speech skills of 4- to 5-year-old children and to determine the effectiveness of the innovative computer program, Phoneme Factory Sound Sorter (PFSS) as an intervention for preschool children with speech difficulties.

The Cleft Collective Speech and Language Study

The Cleft Collective Speech and Language Study (CC SL) is working in partnership with the Cleft Collective Cohort Studies – a large scale national study of children born with cleft lip palate. The aim of the CC SL study is to create an adequately powered, detailed observational resource for the study of the early speech and language development of children born with cleft palate. The initial investigation will seek to identify factors which are associated with persistent speech disorder in children born with cleft palate.

Speech development in typically developing 13 month olds

Evidence suggests that differences in early childhood are associated with later speech and language development. Specifically, patterns of interaction between parents and children have been shown to be associated with language development while very early speech behaviours are linked to later speech outcomes. However, there is currently little research on the role of early language environment on speech development.

Understanding the Causal Pathways for Persistent Speech Disorder

This project is a programme of work which will investigate factors in young pre-school children which are associated with persistent speech disorder (PSD) in children aged 5 and above. The intention is to provide clinicians with information to prioritise resources for those at high risk for PSD and subsequent poor life outcomes and reduce unnecessary intervention for those who resolve early.

Child Talk

Primary speech and language impairments affect 7.4% of primary school children. Early intervention by speech and language therapists (SLTs) is crucial to lessen their impact on these children’s life chances; however, there is wide variation in how families are assessed and interventions implemented.

The Aphasia Software Finder

These are exciting and frustrating times for those concerned with the treatment of aphasia. Exciting because an ever growing body of research and experience shows us that treatment can make a difference. Frustrating because most healthcare systems are suffering financial pressures that mean very few people with aphasia are likely to be allocated enough resources so that they can benefit from these advances – especially as there is increasing evidence that amount and intensity of treatment can be crucial.

The communication aid dialogue trainer

There is a recurrent problem that many people with communication difficulties are given communication aids but never use them to their full potential or even don’t use them at all. One of the reasons for this is that it can be difficult for many people to get enough practice in using the aid to the extent that it becomes more effective than other strategies such as gesture, and thus is a functional improvement for them.

The Lidcombe Program (LP) in the Community

This study was designed by the research team at the Australian Stuttering Research Centre and has recruited clinicians and children from community and specialist clinics in  Australia, England and, more recently, in Canada. The study aims to find out more about how the LP is used in clinics across the world and also whether these therapists, who do not work closely with the research team, obtain similar results to the expert LP practitioners.

Prioritising preschool children for speech & language therapy

Resources for children with speech, language and communication needs are finite.  Inevitably SLTs make prioritisation decisions on a daily basis.  Decisions are not always easy and they often go on without explicit discussion.   The study investigates how therapists prioritise pre-school children for speech and language therapy.  Although other factors such as parental anxiety and family history are influential, this study specifically explores which speech and language behaviours displayed by young children raise a therapist’s concern and leads to their decision to refer a child on a parti

The lived experience of children with primary speech & language impairments

While there has been research in the area of primary speech and language impairments (PSLI), this research has been predominantly quantitative and impairment-based and the personal stories and voices of children and young people have not featured in the literature.