Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Prevention and Early Intervention of Communication Difficulties

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Communication Therapy

DESCRIPTION This study-unit discusses the scope of practice of primary health care and responsibilities with infant, toddler, and preschool populations. The students acquire knowledge related to the role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) in the prevention, early detection and treatment of communication and swallowing disorders. SLPs’ valuable role in working collaboratively with carers and allied professionals is highlighted, especially in relation to responding to young children with prelinguistic, speech, language, and swallowing needs.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to help students:

• Understand the scope of primary (inhibition of onset), secondary (early detection and intervention) and tertiary prevention (reduction of disability);
• Appreciate current practice patterns for assessment and early identification and intervention in speech-language pathology and audiology;
• Understand the roles of the SLP in service delivery to infants, toddlers, and their families who are at risk or have developmental disabilities;
• Understand the SLP’s involvement in the interdisciplinary team serving families and their infants or toddlers;
• Appreciate the outcomes of speech-language therapy in the pre-kindergarten population;
• Understand the SLPs’ involvement in the prevention of written language difficulties;
• Understand the SLPs’ involvement in the prevention of dysphagia.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Understand the unique role of the SLP in prevention and early intervention of communication disorders (including dysphagia).

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Promote investigation, prevention and early intervention of disorders of human communication.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Anderson, c. & Van der Gaag, a.. (2005). Speech & Language Therapy: Issues in Professional Practice. UK: Wiley.
- Bunning, K. (2004). Speech and Language Therapy Intervention: Frameworks and Processes. UK: Wiley.
- Bray, M., Ross, A. & Todd, C. (1998). Speech and Language Clinical Process and Practice. UK: Wiley.
- Brumfitt, S. (2003). Innovations in Professional Education for Speech and Language Therapy. UK: Wiley
- Enderby, P., & Emerson, J. (1995). Does Speech and Language Therapy Work ? U.K.: Whurr Pub.
- Sutherland Cornett, B. & Chabon, S. (1988). The Clinical Practice of Speech Language Pathology. Columbus: Merrill.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Rachael Agius
Jacqueline Busuttil
Daniela R. Gatt
Helen Grech

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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.