A National Centre of Excellence in Speech Genetics: Transforming Patient Care

For most children, the gift of speech comes naturally. Yet others are born with speech apraxia, a debilitating speech disorder.

Even with intense therapy, children with apraxia have severely impaired speech development, which has lifelong impacts on literacy, educational and employment outcomes. 

Thanks to funding provided by the Good Friday Appeal, clinician researchers from The Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are establishing a speech genetics clinic for speech apraxia.

The new clinic will draw on expertise in speech pathology, neurology, neuropsychology and clinical genetics.

The centre will transform standard practice for children with debilitating speech apraxia, moving from the current ‘watch and wait’ surveillance, or ‘trial and error’ symptom-based therapies, toward precision medicine, with a focus on genetic testing, advancing detection, diagnosis, genetic counselling, earlier targeted intervention and even prevention. 

This will improve life outcomes for children at the Royal Children’s Hospital and across the country.

Posted June 2020

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