Professor puts underserved children on her radar

The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) recently hired a professor who has spent more than two decades trying to help with language and speech difficulties -- a group she says he been widely underserved.


“All forms of language production — including speaking, gesturing and writing — are complicated motor activities, Lisa Goffman, now a member of the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, said. “The child has to coordinate breathing and lip, tongue and jaw movements to express desired words and sentences. We are interested in how these complicated and organized movements develop in young language learners and, more critically, what can go awry in children with speech and language difficulties.”

Goffman has spent 21 years Purdue University as a researcher with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Now the Nelle C. Johnston Chair in Early Childhood Communications Disorders at UT-Dallas, Goffman said more children suffer from language disorders than autism spectrum disorders, yet they are often overlooked. She said her move to UT Dallas was based on the strength of the program and the clinical services at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.

“It's one of the best programs in the country in my field, and it will allow me to further develop my work at the interface of language and speech motor development and disorders,” Goffman said.

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