Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


UC researcher seeking to improve childhood speech disorder

UC researcher seeking to improve childhood speech disorder 
 
December 9, 2012
 
A University of Canterbury (UC) study is looking at how best to improve the literacy and education achievements of New Zealand children who struggle with speech disorders.
 
UC senior literacy lecturer Dr Brigid McNeill is conducting a national study by following 54 children aged five to seven years with suspected childhood apraxia of speech.
 
Childhood apraxia of speech is a poorly understood speech disorder. There are huge gaps in knowledge about how to diagnose it properly, what aspects of communication and literacy development are likely to be affected and how best to support children with the disorder. 
 
``Traditionally, the disorder has been thought of as a purely ‘motor’ impairment with children’s difficulty pronouncing sounds thought to be due to difficulty planning movements for speech,’’ Dr McNeill said today.
 
``More recently, concerns over the language and literacy development of those affected have received attention in the literature. Such findings implicating language and literacy development in those affected have cast some doubt over whether this can be viewed as a purely ‘motor planning’ disorder. 
 
``My current project is the first study of its kind to explore the broad profile of children with the suspected disorder over time with a large sample. Children in the study participate in a comprehensive speech, language and literacy assessment five times during the two year study.
 
``Speech production, oral movements, vocabulary knowledge, listening comprehension, storytelling, grammatical skill, reading and spelling are among the areas of development monitored. The study draws participants from Northland to Dunedin. Data collection for the project is nearing completion, with the participants undergoing their final assessment in the next three months.’’
 
Dr McNeill said initial analysis of the results showed participants were generally affected in their motoric, language and literacy development.  More than 75 percent of children in the study required support in at least one area in addition to speech production.
 
More work was needed to be done to enhance the literacy and educational achievement of children with the disorder in New Zealand, she said.
 
``Children with severe speech difficulty are usually referred for speech and language therapy support in the pre-school years. There’s a lot we could be doing to facilitate early literacy development in this group rather than waiting for difficulties to be recognised later on.
 
``These findings have huge implications for the selection of speech therapy approaches for the group. It seems that it is not enough to work on ‘output’ or speech movement skills alone for many children with the disorder. Such an approach is likely to ignore the broader underlying difficulty and do little to enhance early literacy development.
 
``The results show a need to integrate speech therapy and educational support for children with speech disorder. Such a model has the best chance of seeing children affected by such difficulties meet their communication and academic potential,’’ she said.
 
About five percent of New Zealand children are affected by some form of speech disorder. Dr McNeill’s project has received $300,000 from a Marsden Fund fast start research grant for excellent early career researchers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news