Verbal dyspraxia is a developmental problem in children when they experience problems with speech. One characteristic problem of children with this developmental disability is that they are unable to speak without thinking in between words. It is important to note that this problem does not arise because of the physiological problems, such as malfunctioning of mouth and tongue muscles (Edyburn, 2003, p. 20).
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This problem makes their speech to be unintelligible as they cannot speak continuously in a flow. Children with this problem require early specialist’s attention to address the complication to avoid disturbance in their learning process. Some of the characteristics include a limitation of the range of consonant and vowel speech sounds, used favorite articulation, vowels’ distortions, inconsistency in speech, poor sequencing of words.
More precisely, as length of the word, phrase or sentence increases, errors of omission and substitution (idiosyncratic substitutions may occur), voice difficulties, resonance difficulties affecting the tone of the speech, prosodic difficulties affecting rate, stress, rhythm and intonation also grow.
Another problem Ann is experiencing is a writing problem. Writing itself is a very complex process. It involves both the motor aspects of handwriting and the cognitive component of creating or composing written material (Bateman & Herr, 2003).
This is a replication of verbal dyspraxia as the speech problem replicates itself to the written material. Owing to this fact, the written data will have the same prevalent characteristics in verbal dyspraxia. These problems can be faced by using assistive technology to help the child overcome the challenges.
Handwriting is another problem that Ann is facing. Handwriting consists of visual perception, neuromuscular abilities, motor skills, cognition and social emotional factors (Graham & Weintraub, 1996). Coordination of all these factors is also important. Students with such a disability like Ann may require assistive technology to boost their learning and presentation skills.
Visual perception refers to the ability to infer from information taken through the eyes. Neuromuscular abilities enable one to combine muscle strength and postural control; motor skills let the assimilation and interpretation of information trigger appropriate motor response.
Cognitive skills give one an opportunity to write a composition while social and emotional factors enable the student to keep up to date as he/she faces difficulties in writing. The UDL solutions chart below represents the possible solutions to these difficulties.
Deriving UDL Solutions
|Materials & Methods||Potential Barriers/ Missed Opportunities||UDL Solutions|
|Printed text book|| || |
|Written report|| || |
|Oral presentation|| || |
Through assistive technology, the abilities of children with both reading and writing difficulties can be boosted to enable them to accomplish tasks and carry out their academic responsibilities. In this case, the most important thing is early diagnosis, which ensures early response to the challenges facing the student.
Bateman, B., & Herr, C. (2003). Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives. Verona, WI: Attainment Company
Edyburn, D. (2003,). Learning from text. Special Education Technology Practice. NY: Prentice Hall.
Graham, S., & Weintraub, N. (1996). A review of handwriting research: Progress and prospects from 1980 to 1994. NC: Carson-Dellosa.