Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Verbal Dyspraxia (mentioned in part in a previous post on Dyspraxia DCD) - The how’s and why’s. Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

The first thing we need to do is to build a pattern or go back in time and write down all of your child’s early developmental history…I can remember much of my own early life and almost all of my children’s.
Details of the age at which significant developmental milestones were met, such as crawling (shuffling on the bottom) and walking. Checks will be carried out to look at both gross and fine motor skill and these will help in forming the correct diagnosis. Areas that may be of concern to you and are important for the person carrying out the tests are the ability to pour items accurately from a jug to bowl…sensitivity to certain products, ie. cotton wool…maybe labels on garments bother your child, if so write it all down…balancing (standing on one leg)…catching a ball…routine. The idea of the tests are to check coordination, but more importantly to gauge skill level against their actual age. From this, intervention can begin.
It must be said that there are few that have knowledge in detecting dyspraxia, especially if it is mild. Children with dyspraxia can carry on a fairly normal routine in the presence of a complete stranger and this can often lead to an improper diagnosis. This has been documented in some Journals on Special Educational Needs. More people however are coming on stream with specialist skills, so this should improve the diagnosis of dyspraxia DCD.
Keeping a list is so important… place it safe and treat it like gold. You never know when you will need to back up the statement/diagnosis report.
Schools will not always be able to recognise a child’s learning difficulties in a classroom setting, as they are often under pressure with class sizes and it can also be a struggle if their knowledge is limited. Training is still not included in this area whilst studying to become a teacher.
Dyspraxia never goes away and I for one can vouch for that…what happens is we build up the tools/skills needed to overcome the problems we find along life’s road. We have a different style/way of learning to others but we all get there. The help of a good physical trainer for gross motor and a specialist or OT for fine motor skill definitely helps this and also speech therapy and cognitive/multi-sensory training, if needed.
Lack of or slow Speech and Language Development Milestones -
Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD) is a type of dyspraxia that affects the facial muscles and tongue that are used in order to shape and make sounds. Typical symptoms can be -
Dragging or slurring your words.
Difficulties making speech sounds.
Making random sounds or indeed your own language (pseudo words).
Leaving words short of certain sounds which would make it logical.
Formation of words into logical statements.
Improper breathing, including breathing through the mouth and not the nose, which will inhibit speech.
Slow language development.
A sign is often the inability to feed properly…poor sucking skill.
Speech therapy should be high on most people’s list, but there is a lot you can do to help with facial muscle tone and shaping the mouth.
Get your child to drink through a straw as often as you can.
Sucking ice lollies.
Eating apples (uses a lot of facial action).
Blowing bubbles is great fun and helps.
Play silly faces.
With mouth closed suck in cheeks.
Breathing through nose is very important.
Pucker lips.
Blowing kisses.
Get a table tennis ball and two straws and make a little football pitch out of cardboard with sides and try to blow the ball into each other’s goal.
The muscle groups that need to be worked on are -
1. The levator anguli oris muscles extend downward starting at the bottom corners of the nose down to the corners of the mouth.
2. The depressor anguli oris muscles - these extend from the corners of the mouth downward to the chin, and wrap under the jaw line.
3. The zygomaticus major muscles extend from the corners of the mouth to the ear. When toned and firm, these muscles lift and tighten the cheeks.
In Adults these are known as sagging or laughter lines…contrary to the belief you use more muscles to frown than you do to smile, it is actually the other way around.
So, it is good practice to get them smiling as much as possible…playing DVD’S that they like is a really good idea.
All of the activities help develop the facial and mouth muscles, these help to produce sound and letter sounds.
Most of the information used in our posts is our own research and personal input…however we sometimes use the information of others and this is for guidance purposes only.

A great intervention method for language development is Cued Articulation...Google to find training/intervention near you.

We retail resources for specific learning needs at and also at

Toby Dyslexia Dublin CETC © 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment