I’m Michelle St Clair from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. I’ve worked in language development and language disorder research for the past 15 years. I now teach typical and atypical language development to our final year students her...
Hi Reddit, My main area of research looks at how difficulties in learning language in early childhood impacts on other areas of children’s development, such as emotional regulation and behavioural difficulties. We are trying to find out why and how difficulties with language have wider impacts on children’s development. My research group mainly looks at children with Developmental Language Disorder, or a primary problem with understanding and/or using language. These children may have other difficulties as well, such as dyslexia or ADHD. This disorder affects 7.6% of children and often goes undiagnosed. I have written articles to help parents understand when they should be concerned about their child’s language development.
I have very recently launched a new project to help parents of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD; previously known as SLI or a range of other terms!) and adults with DLD better under the science and the research looking at DLD. We take important papers and summarise them in a very brief and easy to understand format. We also give parents the links to the papers, so they can read the paper themselves if they wish. We hope this will help parents better understand how they can best help and support their children with DLD. We also link these parents and adults with research possibilities – if we can help improve our understanding of DLD through research, we will be able to get improved treatments, which will lead to better outcomes for children and young people with DLD. The project is called Engage with Development Language Disorder or E-DLD for short!
Although I currently focus on children with atypical language development, I do know a lot about how children go about the process of acquiring language without any problems! Please ask me anything about language development.