Students enjoy a warm spring day on Bascom Hill at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 24, 2019. (Photo by Bryce Richter /UW-Madison)

Overview & Objectives

The Symposium on Research in Child Language Disorders (SRCLD) held its first meeting in June of 1980 featuring a Keynote address by David Crystal and 14 contributed papers. The Symposium was designed to provide a forum for sharing recent research and promoting interaction among established scholars and students in child language disorders. This meeting has grown dramatically over the past years and now offers a blend of invited plenary presentations by distinguished researchers on theoretical advances and programmatic research summaries. In addition, we host dynamic panel discussions and the presentation of numerous contributed papers. Our current format features a pre-conference tutorial, invited plenary talks, short oral presentations, and more than 100 posters over a two and a half day period. The meeting is regularly attended by more than 200 researchers and students from the US and multiple other countries.

The SRCLD has always fostered student participation locally and nationally. Locally, the symposium is organized by a Program Committee of doctorial students on the UW-Madison campus from several different departments. This committee participates in the selection of the invited speakers and reviews all of the submitted papers using a blind review process to select those to be presented at the meeting. National and international student participation at SRCLD is encouraged by providing student travel awards.

The excellence of the SRCLD has been documented in several areas including the uniqueness of past programs, attendees, student participation, program growth, and the products resulting from the meetings. The Symposium is the only national conference devoted solely to language disorders research. This meeting has achieved the distinction among child language researchers as a high quality scientific meeting fostering research development among professional researchers and doctoral students in training.

Objectives for the Future

  • We will continue to promote high quality research on language disorders in children by providing a focused forum for scientific exchange.
  • We will continue to foster the connection between researchers and the important theoretical issues abound in the related disciplines.
  • We will continue to invite presentations by notable theoreticians in linguistics, psycholinguistics, developmental psychology, neurobiology and genetics.
  • We will continue to invite presentations by prominent researchers who have completed long term projects on specific populations or problems.
  • We will continue to promote doctoral and post doctoral student participation as well as participation at these levels by underrepresented minorities.

The success of the SRCLD can be attributed to several things including, presentation of outstanding science, opportunities for student participation on an equal level with established researchers, ample opportunity for informal discussion, an outstanding conference facility, and support from the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders and the National Institutes on Child Health and Human Development, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

Guidance to the symposium is provided by the Local Advisory Committee of University of Wisconsin scholars, and the National Advisory Board provides national and international input for long term development.

SRCLD LogoSupported in part by: NIDCD and NICHD, NIH, R13 DC001677, Margarita Kaushanskaya and Audra Sterling, Principal Investigators

University of Wisconsin-Madison – Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders