Our current research focuses on speech development of children with cleft palate (CP) up to to age 3. We am intrigued with questions related to the impact of clefting on early speech/language development and how these early deficits impact later speech/language learning.
Our longitudinal study (NIH funded) of speech/language development of children with CP provided data related to these questions and challenged current views on the timing of primary palatal surgery. Additionally, this work has answered questions related to early babbling skills, mother-child interaction patterns, pragmatic skills, and the impact of intervention (to name a few) for infants and young children with CP.
We have also been involved in numerous projects related to the genetic bases of speech disorders. That research (which includes collecting behavioral and DNA samples on multigenerational families) is ongoing as well.
My early research focused on children with specific language impairment and more recently, on language and phonological development in young children with cleft palate. I am especially interested in the impact of clefting on the developing speech sound system, language skills of children with cleft palate, and the genetic bases of speech and language disorders.