SPCHSCI 743 : Advanced Study of Speech and Language Therapy in Children


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Develops depth in specific areas of difficulty including language disorders in adolescents, pre-verbal stages, and working with disabilities, particularly intellectual and physical disability and autism spectrum disorder. Develops best practice in cultural and linguistic diversity. Consolidates and extends knowledge of evidence-based practice in child speech and language. Involves individual critical evaluation and synthesis of knowledge and concepts which are then presented in substantial reports.

Course Overview

This course will extend your knowledge and skills in the field of speech and language difficulties with children.
• It will build on the knowledge you have from SPCHSCI 711 and 722 and your clinical learning in SPCHSCI 714, 724 and 734. You will need to refer to your notes and assignments from these courses.
• SPCHSCI 723 and SPCHSCI 736 are also relevant to this course. Note that the Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) section here differs from the other topics in 743 insomuch as it refers to multi-modal issues for both children and adults. However, all the disabilities and issues discussed in relation to children here in 743 can be extrapolated to people growing up to be adults with these disabilities.
• The course will further develop NZ- centred principles of best practice in cultural and linguistic diversity.
• The course will introduce practices related to specific areas of difficulty, particularly:
  • working with communication difficulties in adolescents, and the complex issues of emotional and behavioural difficulties and foetal alcohol spectrum disorders (which may include younger children)
  • working with communication difficulties with children with physical and intellectual disability, including working with pre-verbal stages of development, autism spectrum disorders, and augmentative and alternative communication systems
  • advanced phonological theory and practice regarding complex speech difficulties, and working with children with speech difficulties arising from cleft lip & palate and childhood apraxia of speech.
There are around 10 guest kaiako in this course. They are brought in to give you insights into a range of practice areas and are people with experience and expertise in specialist areas. They usually go far beyond the call of duty to be here and give you the benefit of their wisdom. Please treat them with the utmost respect and courtesy. Please make sure you do not miss their sessions, and that you are not late if they are on-site. We really value what they contribute to our courses, and like to convey that gratitude and value to them, and ensure they continue in this role with us. We would be very grateful if you also play a part in this process .

We will make a practice of giving them greetings and thanks from you as a student group, preferably involving Te Reo and tikanga Maori. How to do this will be one of the early goals of the course.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: SPCHSCI 722 Restriction: SPCHSCI 732

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Synthesise and apply principles of evidence based practice, ICF-CY framework and family/whanau-centred practice into your thinking and your plans for working with children with a variety of conditions involving language/communication difficulties. You should be appropriately critical consumers of research in the area and have strategies to apply research to your own practice. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Be able to plan for present and future developments of existing practice to incorporate a uniquely NZ approach to SLT which incorporates te Tiriti o Waitangi principles, and other culturally competent practices, including working with interpreters. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)
  3. Apply the principles learned in this and previous courses in the MSLT(Prac) /PGDip to assessment and intervention of communication function, including literacy, with children with complex presentations, including those with intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, and combinations of these. A particular focus of competence is on pre-verbal stages or nonverbal development and knowing where and how to use AAC systems with both early communication stages, and later ones. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Apply the principles learned in this and previous courses in the MSLT(Prac) to assessment and intervention of communication function with adolescents, including those in complex language and social environments such as youth justice, mental health and social disadvantage. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 6)
  5. Understand and apply what is known about complex speech difficulties in childhood, including childhood apraxia of speech and disorders of oro-facial structure, and how to assess and intervene with these difficulties (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  6. Develop the following CBOS (Competency based Occupational Standards) elements, across the extended range of practice:1.1, 1.2 1.4 (Assessment)2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 (Analysis and Interpretation)3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 (Planning)4.2, 4.3, 4.6 (Implementation)7.1, 7.2, 7.4 (Lifelong Learning and Reflective Practice)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments 25% Individual Coursework
Assignments 25% Individual Coursework
Practical 10% Individual Coursework
Final Exam 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the tuākana-teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

There are no special requirements for this course. Class participation is expected. 

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 15 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 5-6 hours per week in class activities including face-to-face and online teaching, and seminar/discussion/ activity sessions. A further 4-5 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 4-5 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation is ideal. 

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including lectures, tutorials to complete components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials may be available as recordings.
The course will include live online events including group discussions/tutorials.
Attendance on campus is required for the OSCE and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

There is no one textbook that will cover all the topics in this course. You will have suggested readings from individual lecturers, and some will be available through Canvas. Please keep checking, and keep reading in the topic areas.
Always useful:
Paul, Rhea; Norbury, Constance & Gosse, Carolyn (2018). Language disorders; from infancy through adolescence (5th ed). NY; Elsevier. There is always much useful material in this book which covers a range of areas. It is available online. 

Some websites which may be relevant are:
Bowen, Caroline. Speech-Language-Therapy dot com http://speech-language-therapy.com/home.html or; www.slpsite.com (Excellent website, with many ideas and resources, particularly in child speech areas.)
The Hanen centre website: http://www.hanen.org/web/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
The Makaton website http://www.makaton.org/
The Afasic organisation website: http://www.afasic.org.uk/
Talklink: https://talklink.org.nz/
UpsideDowns Trust: https://www.upsidedowns.co.nz/
Autism NZ: https://www.autismnz.org.nz/
National Autistic Society UK: https://www.autism.org.uk/
 (but note also: https://www.autismuk.com/ ; https://www.autism-alliance.org.uk/ ; https://www.childautism.org.uk/
US autism association: https://www.autismspeaks.org/provider/american-autism-association ; https://www.autism-society.org/ ; http://nationalautismassociation.org/ (etc)
Australia: https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/ ; https://www.autismawareness.com.au/
Talking Trouble Aotearoa NZ: https://talkingtroublenz.org/
The Communication Trust UK: https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/
Sentence Trouble UK: https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/resources/resources/resources-for-practitioners/sentence-trouble/

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 11/11/2021 10:56 a.m.