Institute of Health & Society

Staff Profile

Dr Lindsay Pennington

Reader in Communication Disorders



I am a Reader In Communication Disorders and a speech and language therapist. I co-lead the Children and Families Research Theme in the Institute of Health & Society. My research focusses on causes and prevalence of communication disorders in childhood neurodisability, the impact of these disorders on young people's health and well-being and the effectiveness and acceptability of health and social care interventions. I also have an interest in children's eating and drinking difficulties.

Areas of expertise

Childhood neurodisability, communication development, motor speech disorders, complex disability, speech and language therapy, allied health professions

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Co-leader Institute of Health & Society Children and Families Research Theme
  • Institute of Health & Society Head of Excellence in Learning and Teaching
  • President of European Academy of Childhood Disability 2012-2013
  • Surveillance of Cerebral Palsy in Europe Steering Committee member
  • Editorial Board member Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology
  • Editorial Board member Augmentative & Alternative Communication AAC
  • Newcastle University Faculty of Medical Sciences Ethics Committee member


BSc Speech Sciences, 1987, University College London

MSc Human Communication, 1992, Institute of Neurology, University of London

PhD  Human Comunication, 1997, University College London 


Previous positions

National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Career Development Fellow, Newcastle Univeristy, 2008-2012 

Principal Research Associate, Newcastle University, 2004-2013

Department of Health / The Health Foundation Primary Care Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Newcastle University, 2002-2006 

Research Speech and Language Therapist, Department of Speech, Newcastle University, 2001- 2002

Research Fellow, Human Communication and Deafness Group, University of Manchester, 2000-2001

Senior Lecturer in Evidence Based Practice, University of Central Lancashire, 1988-2000

Research Speech and Language Therapist, Institute of Child Health, London, 1990-1996 

Speech and Language Therapist, Scope, Waltham Forest Health Authority, Southport and Formby Health Authority, 1987-1990  


Honours and Awards

NIHR Career Development Fellowship

Department of Health / Health Foundation Primary Care Post Doctoral Research Fellow

Best paper International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 2015 

Google scholar: Click here.

ORCID: 0000-0002-4540-2586

 SCOPUS: Click here.


Research Interests

  1. Communication development of children with neurodisability
  2. Motor speech disorders in childhood
  3. Clinical effectiveness and acceptability of allied health interventions for young people with neurodisability
  4. Participation and quality of life of young people with neurodisability

Research Roles

I am principal investigator on a number of projects 


Postgraduate Supervision

I currently supervise four postgraduate students 


Esteem Indicators


Focus-Cerebralparese-Congress 2016. Munich, Germany. 2016; Early Intervention State of the Science Pre-Conference Symposium International Cerebral Palsy Conference, Stockholm, 1-2 June, 2016; Paediatric Dysarthria Masterclass. Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2 July 2015; Early Detection and Early Neurorehabilitation in CP Summit. Vienna 1-2 July 2014


Augmentative and Alternative Communication, Associate Editor

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, member of Editorial Board
Cochrane Collaboration Movement Disorders Review Group, member

Cochrane Collaboration Developmental, Psychosocial and Learning Problems Group, member
European Academy of Childhood Disability, President 2013


International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders best paper 2015 


Selected current and recently completed funded projects

Kolehmainen N, Armitage S, Brooks R, McAnuff J, Duff C, Pennington L (2018-2020) Enabling self-care in children with developmental disabilities: pre-protocol research for a cluster randomised trial. UK Occupational Therapy Research Foundation, Royal College of Occupational Therapists.

McAnuff J, Crombie S, Gibson J, Grayston A, Kaur Bola K, Pennington L, Webster R (2018-2020) RAISE – Researching Allied health In Schools and Education. British Academy of Childhood Disability and The Castang Foundation.

Parr JR, Pennington L, Craig D, Colver A, McColl E, McConachie H (2017-2019) Eating interventions for children with neurodisability National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Heath Technology Assessment Programme

Pennington L, Olivier P, Balaam M, Basu A. (2015-2016) Participatory design of smart phone technology to support speech therapy for very young children with cerebral palsy. Sparks. 

Pennington L, Smith J, Balaam M, Brittain K, Robson S, Steen N, Vale L. (2014-2016) FIDELITY: Feasibility of Internet DELivery of Intensive TherapY for children with motor speech disorders and cerebral palsy. NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Programme.  




Undergraduate teaching

BSc and MSc Speech and Language Sciences: childhood motor speech disorder

Speech and Language Sciences Dissertations Projects

Biomedical Sciences Dissertation Projects