Professor Heather K J van der Lely is Director of the Centre for Developmental Language Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience and is one of Britain's leading researchers into Specific Language Impairment.

After many years working in the field she became convinced that early diagnosis of language problems and the provision of appropriate treatment and professional help could enable those affected youngsters achieve their full potential.

Assisted by a team of experts, she set about developing a language impairment 'early warning system' for pre-school children that would identify youngsters showing early signs of language problems. The result was the GAPS Test - a simple screening system that could be used by both parents and professionals.

"What really motivated me was seeing first hand how failing to diagnose these problems was blighting so many young lives," said the Professor.
Hilary Gardner has been a Speech and Language Therapist for over 20 years, working predominantly with children of all ages. She has provided a service in all types of settings; firstly in community and hospital paediatric clinics but moving on to work mainly in collaboration with education, in preschool and primary language units and then an integrated 'language resourced' school. Alongside her clinical involvement Hilary held lecturing and research posts at Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds Metropolitan Universities before arriving in Sheffield where she is currently working. Hilary has been a key member of the GAPS team
Dr. Karen Froud did her PhD in Linguistics and Language Pathology with Professor N.V. Smith at the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, UCL. This was followed by a post-doctoral research position at the DLDCN Centre working with Professor Heather van der Lely. Before moving into research she was a Speech and Language Therapist working with severe neurological disorders in adults. She is currently Assistant Professor of Speech and Language Pathology, Teacher's College, Columbia University.
Dr Alastair G R McClelland, a Senior Lecturer with the Department of Psychology, at University College London, winner of the UCL Faculty of Life Sciences Teaching Award for 2001-2002 is the author of numerous books and papers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and was Statistical Consultant to the BBC between 1989 and 1992