Childhood Speech & Swallowing Disorders,
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Speaking and eating are two critical everyday life skills. Speech disorders affect communication, literacy, school performance and a child’s ability to obtain later employment and participate in, and contribute to society. Eating disorders impair nutritional intake and growth and may lead to life threatening disorders such as pneumonia. Up to 70% of children with severe brain impairment have a speech or eating / swallowing disorder, equating to thousands of Australian children being affected. These disorders result in lifelong increased demands on health care services and are of great cost to the child and their family and also to the wider community.

Dr Morgan’s research aims to improve treatment of these disorders to enhance quality of life for affected children and their families. To improve treatment her research links three areas that provide a better understanding of the conditions.

  • Seeing clinical patients to document the features of speech and eating problem;
  • examining brain control of eating and speaking using magnetic resonance imaging; and
  • studying the familial inheritance of these conditions using genetic techniques.

Angela’s excellent communication and community engagement skills for science promotion are demonstrated by regular engagement with parent support groups providing newsletters and seminars to increase research awareness in the community. She also regularly communicates her findings to the public through radio, television, and print-media.