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Dyspraxia (reviewed January 2000)

Do you have information on dyspraxia?

Dyspraxia (developmental verbal apraxia or developmental apraxia of speech-DAS) is a neurologically based speech disorder. it is caused by subtle brain impairment or malfunctioning. No one currently knows exactly what this brain impairment is or what causes it. Theories range from supposing the impairment is a very specific small injury or difference in the speech area of the brain to saying that is not possible to isolate. Although some children with DAS have had specific birth or prenatal injuries or periods without oxygen, most DAS children have nothing in their birth or prenatal histories that would suggest a possible cause of the DAS. It is interesting that there are a great deal of similarities in the histories of children with DAS, however, it has not been shown that any one or any specific combination of factors is responsible for the DAS. At this time, we simply do not know what causes DAS.

DAS is a speech disorder that interferes with a child's ability to correctly pronounce sounds, syllables and words. It is the loss of ability to consistently position the articulators (face, tongue, lips, jaw) for the production of speech sounds and for sequencing those sounds into syllable or words. Generally, there is nothing wrong with the muscles themselves. The child does not have difficulty with non-speech activities performed with the muscles such as coughing, chewing or swallowing. However, the area of the brain that tells the muscle how to move and what to do to make a sound or series of sounds is damaged or not fully developed. This makes retrieving the "motor plan" for saying a word difficult.

A child who has DAS will not simply "grow out of it." Without speech therapy, the child's communications skills may improve as he grows older, but his speech will still be filled with errors and be difficult to understand. Therapy for DAS is generally intensive (2-3 times per week) and is started as soon as the disorder is identified and the child is old enough to participate in therapy (18-30 months). Therapy does not provide a "quick fix". Most apraxic children will be in therapy at least 2 years and sometimes significantly longer. However, all but the most severely apraxic children who receive intervention will eventually be competent oral communicators. In sever cases, augmentative communication will be needed. (From an articles by Ann S. Guild, MACCC/SLP, www.tayloredmktg.com).

Following are links to related Internet resources and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of citations beginning with an ED number (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used


EJ496325 EC610200
Feature Analysis of Singleton Consonant Errors in Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD).
Thoonen, G.; And Others
Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, v37 n6 p1424-40 Dec 1994
ISSN: 0022-4685
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJMAY95
Target Audience: Researchers
This study attempted to quantify diagnostic characteristics related to consonant production of developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD) in 11 Dutch children (ages 6 and 7). The study was able to quantify diagnostic characteristics but found very few qualitative differences in error patterns between children with DVD and 11 age-matched children with normal speech.
Descriptors: *Clinical Diagnosis; *Consonants; *Error Analysis (Language); Expressive Language; Foreign Countries; Individual Characteristics; *Phonology; *Speech Impairments; Young Children
Identifiers: Netherlands; *Verbal Dyspraxia

EJ382203 EC211569
Interrelating Reception and Expression in Speechreading Training.
van Uden, Antoine M. J.
Volta Review, v90 n5 p261-72 Sep 1988
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJMAY89
This paper identifies characteristics of poor speechreaders, defines developmental dyspraxia in profoundly hearing-impaired children, and outlines the speechreading process. An active training method is described in which expressive and receptive skills are integrated, by having hearing-impaired people speechread their own speech via videotape recording and playback.
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education; *Expressive Language; *Hearing Impairments; Integrated Activities; *Lipreading; *Receptive Language; *Training Methods; Videotape Recorders; Videotape Recordings
Identifiers: *Dyspraxia

EJ360875 EC200607
Evaluation of Praxis in Preschoolers.
Parham, L. Diane
Occupational Therapy in Health Care, v4 n2 p23-36 Sum 1987
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB88
A rationale and procedures are presented for occupational therapy evaluation of the preschooler whose problems suggest dyspraxia. Two evaluative domains are examined: sensory processing (assessment of tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular, auditory and visual functions) and praxis (ideation, motor planning and execution). Procedures include standardized test items, parent interviews, and behavior observation.
Descriptors: Auditory Perception; Cerebral Palsy; *Clinical Diagnosis; Cognitive Processes; Diagnostic Tests; *Handicap Identification; *Occupational Therapy; *Perceptual Handicaps; *Perceptual Motor Coordination; Perceptual Motor Learning; Physical Disabilities; Preschool Children; Psychomotor Skills; Screening Tests; *Sensory Integration; Visual Perception
Identifiers: *Dyspraxia

EJ353413 CE518019
Developmental Dyspraxia: Is It a Unitary Function?
Ayres, A. Jean; And Others
Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, v7 n2 p93-110 Mar-Apr 1987
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJSEP87
A group of 182 children (ages four through nine) with known or suspected sensory integrative dysfunction were assessed using tests and clinical observations to examine developmental dyspraxia. The study did not justify the existence of either a unitary function or different types of developmental dyspraxia.
Descriptors: Children; Learning Disabilities; Medical Evaluation; *Perceptual Handicaps; *Sensory Integration
Identifiers: *Developmental Dyspraxia; *Sensory Integrative Dysfunction

EJ325320 EC180804
Adapted Cuing Technique for Use in Treatment of Dyspraxia.
Klick, Susan L.
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, v16 n4 p256-59 Oct 1985
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJFEB86
The Adapted Cuing Technique (ACT) was created to accompany oral stimulus presentation in treatment of dyspraxia. ACT is consistent with current treatment theory, emphasizing patterns of articulatory movement, manner of production, and multimodality facilitation. A case study describes the use of ACT in the treatment of a five-year-old child.
Descriptors: *Cues; *Speech Handicaps; *Speech Therapy; Young Children
Identifiers: *Adapted Cuing Technique; *Dyspraxia

ED352780 EC301710
Learning Disabilities: Glossary of Some Important Terms. ERIC Digest #E517.
Lokerson, Jean
Council for Exceptional Children, Reston, Va.; ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children, Reston, Va. 1992 3p. Sponsoring Agency: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC. Contract No: RI88062007 Report No: EDO-EC-92-7
Available From: Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, VA 22091-1589 ($1, minimum order $5 prepaid).
EDRS Price - MF01/PC01 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Virginia
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY93
This digest presents definitions of 30 important terms in the field of learning disabilities. They are: accommodations, assistive technology, attention deficit disorder, brain imaging techniques, brain injury, collaboration, developmental aphasia, direct instruction, dyscalculia, dysgraphia,dyslexia, dysnomia, dyspraxia, learned helplessness, learning modalities, learning strategy approaches, learning styles, locus of control, metacognitive learning, minimal brain dysfunction, multisensory learning, neuropsychological examination, perceptual handicap, prereferral process, resource program, self-advocacy, specific language disability, specific learning disability, subtype research, and transition.
Descriptors: *Definitions; Elementary Secondary Education; *Learning Disabilities
Identifiers: ERIC Digests

ED327019 EC232666
Developmental Speech and Language Disorders: Hope through Research.
National Inst. of Neurological and Communicative Disorders and Stroke (NIH), Bethesda, Md.
Mar 1988; 39p. Report No: NIH-88-2757
Available From: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: U.S.; Maryland
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY91
Government: Federal
Target Audience: Practitioners; Parents
This pamphlet presents an overview of speech and language disorders including a description of symptoms, possible causes, identification, intervention, and current research. Description of the disorders includes examples of symptoms; the four components and the physical tools of speech; and the role of the brain, including its hemispheres, problems during maturation, and its language centers. Examples are given of speech disorders (phonological impairment, verbal dyspraxia, and dysarthria); language disorders (form errors, content errors, and use errors) and expressive and receptive language disorders. The concept of delay versus disorder is discussed. The process of handicap identification is described, noting conditions which must be ruled out and stressing the importance of early identification and intervention. Current methods of therapy are described, and research is cited indicating that speech disorders may be outgrown by adolescence but that difficulties involving language use may persist into adulthood. Ongoing research involves investigation of differences in brain organization, investigation of the genetic connection, and the use of computers to train children with language impairments to process speech and language more rapidly. Seven organizations are listed to write or call for additional information. A chart of language milestones for ages one through six is also provided.
Descriptors: Brain Hemisphere Functions; Clinical Diagnosis; *Communication Disorders; Communication Research; Early Intervention; *Etiology; Expressive Language; *Handicap Identification; Hearing (Physiology); Incidence; *Intervention; Language Acquisition; *Language Handicaps; Parents as Teachers; Physical Development; Physiology; Prenatal Influences; Receptive Language; *Speech Handicaps; Speech Pathology; Speech Therapy
Identifiers: National Institutes of Health

ED313835 EC221701
Identification of Additional Learning Difficulties in Hearing-Impaired Children.
Alpin, D. Yvonne
Jul 1989; 26p.; In: Martin, David S., Ed. International Symposium on Cognition, Education, and Deafness (2nd, Washington, DC, July 5-8, 1989). Working Papers: Volume I.
EDRS Price - MF01/PC02 Plus Postage.
Language: English
Geographic Source: United Kingdom; England
Journal Announcement: RIEMAY90
Target Audience: Researchers
Of particular concern to educational psychologists when assessing hearing- impaired children is the identification of learning difficulties in addition to deafness which might hinder progress with language development. This study sought to replicate research which showed that some deaf children who have difficulty with fine motor movements and body image also have difficulty with speech musculature and thus with language learning by purely oral methods, and research which showed that relatively large percentages of deaf children exhibit dyspraxic features. A battery of diagnostic tests was administered to 106 British school-aged hearing-impaired children to detect dyspraxia. Only a small number of children were identified, and the main profiles emerging on 12 dyspraxia subtests differed from the profiles of former research subjects. The link between fine motor, speech, and certain memory tests was not replicated. The eupraxic/dyspraxic profile did not emerge for the subjects. Descriptors: Deafness; *Diagnostic Tests; *Educational Diagnosis; Elementary Secondary Education; Foreign Countries; *Handicap Identification; *Hearing Impairments; *Language Acquisition; Memory; *Multiple Disabilities; Psychomotor Skills; Speech Communication; Speech Handicaps
Identifiers: *Dyspraxia; England

Available from your local book store or public library:

Developmental Dyspraxia: Identification and Intervention, A Manual for Parents and Professionals. Madeleine Portwood. David Fulton Publishers, Ormond House, 26-27 Boswell Street, London WC1N 3JD. http://www.fultonpublishers.co.uk

Inclusion for Children with Dyspraxia/DCD: A Handbook for Teachers. Kate Ripley. David Fulton Publishers, Ormond House, 26-27 Boswell Street, London WC1N 3JD. http://www.fultonpublishers.co.uk

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