The UK's leading conference for DLD and SLCN


NAPLIC 2020 Conference: "Developmental Language Disorder: moving forward together"

DATE: Saturday 21st March 2020 | VENUE: Sheffield City Hall

2020 Conference announced

Early announcement with more to follow

The 2020 NAPLIC conference will be held on Saturday 21st March in Sheffield with a theme of ‘Developmental Language Disorder: moving forward together.’

Once again we have outstanding and inspiring speakers who will be sharing their knowledge about DLD and wider speech, language and communication needs.

Hear the latest

There have been great strides recently in the Developmental Language Disorder field, but there are still so many questions that services and practitioners are dealing with. ‘Should we put our resources into prevention or intense intervention? How do we accurately diagnose children and young people? What do we do with the under 5s? How do we provide the services that respond to need? How do we fund it all?’

These are just some of the questions that our speakers will be addressing from a range of academic, parental, speech and language therapy and teaching perspectives.

More details will be announced shortly, so keep an eye out, or join NAPLIC and receive the details first. NAPLIC members: log into the members’ area and double-check your email preferences to ensure you hear the latest updates about the conference, as well as newsletters.

Conference fees for professionals start from £105. There will be discounted parent places also.

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Confirmed speakers include:

  • James Law
  • Susan Ebbels
  • Jules Daulby
  • Marie Gascoigne
  • Aoife Gallagher
  • Mary-Jo Spearey
  • Hannah Harvey
  • Trish Hicken
  • Caroline Rowland
  • Courtenay Norbury

NAPLIC 2019 Conference: “Growing up with DLD”

Conference summary

2019 Conference speakers

Amanda Finer Speech and Language Therapist

DLD and Me: Supporting children and families to understand diagnosis

Amanda Finer is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist for the Children’s Integrated Speech and Language Therapy Service for Hackney and the City.  Amanda qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist from the University of Manchester in 2009. She has worked within Early Years, Primary and Secondary in a range of boroughs in and around London.  She has worked as a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with children who have DLD (previously SLI) and speech disorders for six years.  Central to Amanda’s role in Hackney is the development of the DLD and speech service, and she and the DLD team in Hackney have embraced the changes in terminology and criteria.  Amanda has been asked to speak about Hackney’s work with DLD at the DLD Study Day at UCL, the Surrey DLD Clinical Excellence Network (CEN), on a RCSLT webinar, at the North West Conference for professionals working with language disorder, and a RCSLT roundtable event for other professionals.

Billie Lowe Speech & Language Therapist

Word discovery: A classroom vocabulary intervention for adolescents with language disorder

Dr Hilary Lowe (Billie) is a paediatric SLT with extensive NHS and independent experience working with children and adults of all ages, specialising in developmental language disorder in adolescents. Her journey into research from practice has involved working as a Research Assistant and University Teacher at the University of Sheffield, followed by a PhD at City, University of London. Committed to partnership working with education colleagues, Billie’s PhD entailed an intervention study examining the effectiveness of classroom vocabulary intervention in mainstream secondary schools. She is currently working on grant applications to extend this research.

Billie’s PhD study has resulted in presentations at a number of national and international conferences including the International Association for the Study of Child Language (IASCL) July 2017, and the European Congress of Speech and Language Therapy (CPLOL) May 2018, as well as peer-reviewed publications.

Danielle Matthews University of Sheffield

Asking parents to talk to their babies: What are the effects on child language development. Do effects last and are they worth it?

Danielle is a Reader in Cognitive Development at the University of Sheffield.  Her research focuses on early language development (lexical, grammatical and pragmatic development), primarily in typically developing children but more recently also in infants with severe-profound hearing loss.  Dr Matthews edited the 2014 volume Pragmatic Development in First Language Acquisition and is currently writing a book on this topic.  She has experience in evaluation interventions to promote language development with randomised controlled trials (RCTs), in conducting correlational research to understand the sources of individual differences in cognitive development and in running observational studies to understand associations between development and socio-economic status.  She recently led two RCTs designed to test the effect of promoting caregiver-infant interaction and book-sharing on early vocabulary development and will report on these studies at the conference.

Cristina McKean University of Newcastle

Understanding developmental change in child language and the implications for children’s services

Dr. Cristina McKean is a speech and language therapist, senior lecturer and researcher based at Newcastle University, UK. She is Honorary Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Adjunct Fellow at the Menzies Institute Griffith University. Her research is driven and informed by her many years as a practitioner. She believes that high quality science can improve the lives of people with communication disorders and aims to support the speedy dissemination and application to practice of research through her role as Editor in Chief for the International Journal of Communication and Language Disorders.

The primary focus of her research is understanding child language development and disorders, specifically understanding individual differences in the drivers and processes of developmental change for individual children. Her work is highly collaborative, and she believes that the best work, both in research and practice is conducted through interdisciplinary collaboration. Cristina recently completed a  Fellowship at the Centre of Research Excellence in Child Language in Melbourne (MCRI) Here she led work using the ELVS longitudinal cohort to explore the developmental trajectories of children with and without language difficulties, to further our understanding of the emergence of language skills and difficulties across development and of the associated problems which many children with language disorders experience.

She also conducts intervention and service delivery research. This includes the ‘Language for all’ Study exploring optimal collaborative partnerships between professionals to meet the needs of children with SLCN; development of methods to identify families who would benefit from parent-child interaction interventions; co-leading a COST Action working group to explore service delivery  for children with Language Disorders across Europe; and  the project SEED: Social InEquality and its Effects on Child Development: A study of birth cohorts in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Marie Newton Speech and Language Therapist

Teachers and Therapists unite! The system of support for SLCN in Brighton and Hove

After completing a joint degree in English and Language Sciences I continued my studies in the field of Applied Linguistics. My MA and MPhil research focused on developing resources to teach EAL in French primary schools. I worked as a foreign language teacher both in France and in England for over 15 years.

I qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist after completing the Speech and Language Therapy Postgraduate Diploma at City University in 2009.  Since qualifying I have worked with children and young people (0-16 years) with a range of needs in community clinics and mainstream schools.

I currently work for Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust. I am the Clinical Lead for the Mainstream Schools service. Our team delivers a joint service to mainstream schools with the specialist Autism and Language SEN teachers from the Brighton and Hove Inclusion Support Service.

I have a specialist clinical interest in working with multilingual children and their families. I also have a specific interest in the development of training for education staff to support their understanding of the needs of children with DLD and to ensure best practice in and out of the classroom.

Deborah Powers Speech & Language Therapist

time to talk™ Training, sustaining and campaigning across Warwickshire to support children’s speech, language and communication

Deborah trained at University College London and qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2002. She spent nine years working with diverse needs in diverse communities in East London (Redbridge and Hackney), based in community clinics, child development centres and Sure Start children’s centres where she was a Locality and Clinical Lead Specialist for Early Years. Deborah then worked as a Communication Advisor for the children’s communication charity I CAN before joining Warwickshire’s award-winning universal programme, ‘time to talk’™ in 2013. This involves training and sustaining the early years workforce to nurture children’s communication through interactive workshops, video reflection, regular CPD, online resources, partnership working, and campaigning to develop community awareness. Deborah is particularly interested in the dynamics of communication signals in adult-child interactions and is trained in Hanen, PCIT and more recently VERVE Child Interaction Therapy which she has used extensively within the ‘time to talk’™ programme.

Melanie Rudkins Specialist Teacher

Teachers and Therapists unite! The system of support for SLCN in Brighton and Hove

After leaving university with a degree in Linguistics and entering briefly into the world of social work, I completed a PGCE and qualified as a teacher in 1990.  I have taught in a range of mainstream primary schools and was a SENCO for about 10 years.  My interest in speech, language and communication needs arose during this time when I undertook an extended training course in meeting the needs of children with specific language impairment as it was then known.

I have since worked on the National Strategies programme Every Child a Talker as an Early Language Consultant and as a teacher in charge of a special support centre for children with speech, language and communication needs within a mainstream primary school.

I am currently a specialist SEN teacher in the Autism and Language team which forms part of Brighton and Hove Local Authority’s Inclusion Support Service known locally as BHISS.   Our team works closely with the NHS Speech and Language Therapy Service to enable children and young people to meet their full potential.

Anna Sowerbutts Speech and Language Therapist

DLD and Me: Supporting children and families to understand diagnosis

Anna Sowerbutts is a Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist working for the Children’s Integrated Speech and Language Therapy Service for Hackney and the City. She has worked in Hackney and other London boroughs for five years with children with a wide range of speech, language and communication disorders in early years, primary and secondary schools. She currently specialises in speech and language disorders, including Developmental Language Disorder, and works in mainstream schools and a specialist language resourced school. Alongside clinical work, she is the recipient of a National Institute of Health Research Predoctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship, and is completing an MRes in Applied Research in Human Communication Disorders at University College London.

Maxine Winstanley University of Manchester

Contrasting outcomes of growing up with identified vs unidentified DLD

Maxine Winstanley is a clinical lecturer at the University of Manchester. She is a Speech and Language Therapist and has worked in numerous schools for adolescents with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH). Currently employed part-time in an inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) she focuses on integrating speech and language therapy into psychiatric services for young people.

She has recently completed a PhD working with Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) to profile the psycholinguistic and socioemotional characteristics of young offenders with and without Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and detail gender differences. In addition, she investigated language competence as a variable with respect to rates of recidivism and severity of crime and her thesis details the first study to examine the predictive utility of DLD status for reoffending. Working with Professor Gina Conti-Ramsden she has also published the first study, in a UK context, regarding the relationship between identified DLD and offending.


Oracy APPG

Published 8th October, 2019


NAPLIC 2019 Conference: “Growing up with DLD”

The 2019 conference took place on 11th May 2019 and was a huge success

Read the conference summary


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