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Title: Speech segmentation and spelling skills in children with developmental verbal dyspraxia
Author: Stackhouse, R. J.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1989
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The thesis investigates the relationship between spoken and written language difficulties. Two children aged eleven and twelve years were studied. Both were of average intelligence but had a persisting speech difficulty of a dyspraxic nature. Normal control data was collected on each area tested so that the casescould be viewed from a developmental perspective. First, a detailed analysis of speech errors was carried out. Compared to Articulation Age matched controls, the speech disordered children made multiple errors, had difficulty assembling the articulatory programme for unfamiliar words and relied upon word specific knowledge. Second, on tests of auditory discrimination, lexical decision and segmentation skills, the speech disordered children performed less well than Reading Age matched controls. Their difficulties were most pronounced in the auditory modality and when non word material was used. Third, their reading and spelling performance was compared to low Reading Age dyslexic children without obvious speech difficulties. The speech disordered children were more deficient in their use of phonological strategies and had not broken through to the alphabetic phase of literacy development. The cases were followed up after three years. Although the children had improved their performance quantitatively, they still exhibited the same pattern of errors overall. They had become "trapped" in the logographic phase of literacy development and were adopting compensatory strategies when reading and spelling. Their pervasive phonological difficulties were compounded by their inconsistent and incoordinated speech. These findings challenge the traditional view of Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia as a motor speech disorder. In addition to their articulatory difficulties, the children also had auditory processing and lexical problems. The findings allow further discussion of the role of articulatory and phonological skills in literacy development. A model of reading and spelling strategies is presented and the points where speech and language disordered children are most at risk, are indicated. Finally, the clinical, educational and research implications are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available