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Invited Speakers

Dr Yvonne Wren

Dr Yvonne Wren Director of Research, Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit/Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol

Yvonne Wren is a speech and language therapist and researcher in children’s speech development and disorder.

She trained at the University of Manchester and worked for the NHS in hospitals, schools and community settings in Liverpool and Bristol before completing her Masters in Education and PhD at the University of Bristol in 2005. Her doctorate evaluated the use of software in intervention for children with speech sound disorder and lead to the development of the Phoneme Factory software series. A revised Australian version of this was recently trialled in the Australian Research Council funded Sound Start Study in New South Wales. Yvonne’s postdoctoral research includes MRC funded work into prevalence and risk factors for persistent speech disorder (PSD) with ALSPAC (Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children), the large scale longitudinal population study based in the South West of England.


She also contributed to the government funded Better Communication Research Programme following the Bercow Review in 2008 and was a co-applicant on the NIHR Programme Grant, Child Talk - an investigation into evidence based intervention for preschool children with primary speech and language impairments.

More recently, Yvonne was awarded a NIHR Research Fellowship to look at risk factors for PSD in children born with Cleft Palate. Yvonne has an interest in developing clinical research skills in the speech and language therapy profession and is currently editing the second edition of the book, ‘Creating Practice-Based Evidence: A guide for SLTs’, published by JR Press. She also founded and is chair of the Child Speech Disorder Research Network, a collective of specialist research and clinical SLTs engaged in research in children’s speech sound disorder and is chair of the Child Speech Committee of the International Association of Logopedists and Phoniatrists. 

She was previously a member of the moderating committee of The Communication Trust’s What Works database of evidence based interventions for use with children with speech, language and communication needs and since 2015 has been Director of Research at the Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit.

Yvonne is now Chief Investigator of the Cleft Collective Speech and Language Study, a large national cohort study of children born with cleft palate in the UK which is nested within the Scar Free Foundation funded UK Cleft Collective Birth Cohort.