Perceptions in education: Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties, Speech and Language Therapy and Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Children with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties (SLCD) are increasingly being educated in mainstream schools. Over the last decade the importance of joint training and collaboration of Speech and Language Therapists (SALTs) and teaching staff has been emphasised. Although previous research has investigated more general areas of SLCD, there is a comparative lack of research investigating educational staffs’ understanding of specific language impairments. Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD) is a complex disorder that has controversy surrounding its diagnosis. Despite its prevalence being comparable to Autistic Spectrum Disorder, it is relatively under-acknowledged and unrecognised by non-specialist professionals working with children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). This paper reports on findings from a questionnaire investigating how experience influences knowledge, confidence and attitudes of mainstream classroom based staff, towards SLCD, Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) and DVD. It also sought to discover whether additional support could help to improve these areas. Whilst attitudes towards teaching children with SLCD in the mainstream setting were generally positive, many participants reported that they required additional support and training in this area. There was found to be an apparent mismatch between the characteristics of DVD identified and the recognition of the label. On reporting how they would support a child with DVD, participants regularly over-generalised techniques and strategies that they used with an SLCD more familiar to them. Clear needs for mutually understood terminology, further joint training and increased specific training, have been identified.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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