This project is completed.

Our vision was to transform speech pathology practice by identifying, understanding and targeting the underlying causes of developmental speech and language disorders

For a long time, there was scepticism that child speech disorders could be genetic.

Over the past five years, critical work by our Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language (#1116976, 2017-21) has changed the status quo in the field by expanding two causative genes to over 30 genes. This has provided invaluable information to clinicians and families – improving our understanding of speech and language abilities for a range of genetic conditions.

Researchers at Murdoch Children’s have characterised conditions associated with pathogenic findings in candidate genes that show susceptibility for childhood apraxia of speech, as well as other conditions.

CRE achievements

Some of the achievements of the Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language include:

  • Establishing a world-first speech genomics clinic with national referral.
  • Identifying that as many as one in three children with speech apraxia may receive a genetic diagnosis for their condition.
  • Conducting several studies helping clinicians and families understand a variety of conditions.

The Centre of Research Excellence in Speech and Language has influenced thinking and practice in the field, cementing the key role that genetics plays in speech disorders. This is particularly evident with the translation of our work into National Institutes of Health (NIH)UNIQUE UK and World Health Organization (WHO) clinical guidelines to better understand the diagnosis, prognosis and therapies needed for children with severe speech disorder.