student profile: Ms Leah Hanley


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Effectiveness of intervention using principles of motor learning for speech and resonance difficulties in pre-schoolers with cleft palate

Supervisors: Kirrie BALLARD , Alison PURCELL

Thesis abstract:

Cleft lip and/or palate (CP) is a common congenital defect and it is known to impact on speech and language development, with minimising speech, language and resonance difficulties being one of the primary aims of CP repair. It is estimated that between 50-70 percent of preschoolers with cleft palate attend or have attended speech therapy, however there is currently a paucity of evidence to support any speech intervention approach with children with CP (Bessell et al., 2013), making it difficulty for clinicians to choose an evidence based intervention approach. Principles of motor learning (PML) provide clinicans with structured advice on the structure and frequency of practice and how to provide feedback that faciliates maintenance and generalisation, however to date, despite the growning body of literature to suppport the principles of motor learning in the treatment of motor speech disorders in children (Ballard, Robin, McCade, & McDonald, 2010; Maas et al., 2014), PML has not been explicitly researched with CP. This research is an initial pilot study to apply speech intervention using the principles of motor learning to improve speech and resonance outcomes for pre-schoolers with CP. The study will use a series of within subject designs to determine: i) Does intervention for speech and resonance difficulties using principles of motor learning improve speech and resonance outcomes in pre-schoolers with cleft palate? ii) Do passive cleft type errors respond to treatment using principles of motor learning? and iii) Is there generalisation to other non-cleft speech errors (e.g. developmental speech errors)?

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Balandin, S., Hemsley, B., Hanley, L., Sheppard, J. (2009). Understanding mealtime changes for adults with cerebral palsy and the implications for support services. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 34(3), 197-206. [More Information]

2009

  • Balandin, S., Hemsley, B., Hanley, L., Sheppard, J. (2009). Understanding mealtime changes for adults with cerebral palsy and the implications for support services. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 34(3), 197-206. [More Information]

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.