About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Test To Diagnose Speech and Motor Defects in Down Syndrome

by Julia Samuel on February 6, 2016 at 10:18 PM
Font : A-A+

New Test To Diagnose Speech and Motor Defects in Down Syndrome

Children with Down syndrome have motor speech deficits but if they are inadequately diagnosed, it could have a major impact on the interventions used by speech pathologists when treating patients.

Children with Down syndrome who have motor speech disorder characteristics have historically been diagnosed as having childhood dysarthria. Meanwhile, symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech may have been missed based on the assumption that they could not have both disorders. The study, published in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, provides evidence that children can have both motor speech disorders.

Advertisement


Shelley Velleman, chair of the Department of Communications Sciences and Disorders at the University of Vermont, and her colleagues conducted motor speech assessments on seven children with Down syndrome in comparison with typically developing children. They also analyzed the motor speech and non-speech oral motor skills of all participants using an investigator checklist of characteristics of apraxia, dysarthria as well as other non-specified motor speech disorders.

The results support Velleman's hypothesis that children with Down syndrome who exhibit symptoms of both disorders can, in fact, have overlapping symptoms, and should be treated for all of them. "Children have been automatically placed in one of those boxes," Velleman says, "when the reality is that many kids have a combination, so you have to look at all of the symptoms and treat the child accordingly or it's not going to be very helpful." The finding is especially significant because of the different ways in which speech pathologists work with children who have apraxia compared to those with dysarthria. Therapy for dysarthria, a neuromotor disorder, is largely compensatory because the motor pathways are damaged and cannot be repaired. Consequently, clinicians teach techniques that increase intelligibility or clarity of speech. Conversely, most individuals with apraxia benefit more from therapy focusing on motor planning training as opposed to compensation.
Advertisement

"With dysarthria, kids' brains know what to do, but they can't carry it out because the muscles they use to speak have low tone or are weak," says Velleman. "With apraxia the muscles can do it, but it's a matter of the brain not being able to communicate with the muscles. So if you took a kid with apraxia and you worked on dysarthria to try to get a nice strong "S" sound, well that's nice, but they won't be able to do it when they need to."

Velleman advises therapists to treat the symptoms they see regardless of the diagnosis. "The most important thing is to figure out the symptoms," she says. "If they have three symptoms of dysarthria, three of apraxia and three of something else like a phonological disorder, don't worry about an official diagnosis; go ahead and treat all of the symptoms."

New test could help with more accurate diagnosis. For those who want a definitive diagnosis, Velleman and her co-authors, Vani Rupela, a speech language pathologist in the Fairfax County, Virginia, public school system, and Mary Andrianopoulos, an associate professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a 1979 UVM alum, developed a test they named the Language-Neutral Assessment of Motor Speech for young children, or LAMS.

Developed specifically for their study, the test allowed the team to conduct the motor speech assessments on the children with Down syndrome, the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition in the United States. The test, which may become available to all speech pathologists in the future, included an observational portion that recorded 50 child utterances during a child-parent conversation, and an imitative task-based section using age-appropriate toys and materials in a play-oriented protocol.



Source: Medindia
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Alarming Cesarean Section Trends in India - Convenience or Compulsion of Corporate Healthcare
Quiz on Low-Calorie Diet for Diabetes
World Heart Day in 2022- Use Heart for Every Heart
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Varicocele Down Syndrome Testicle Pain - Symptom Evaluation Language Areas in The Brain 

Most Popular on Medindia

Color Blindness Calculator Sanatogen Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Drug Interaction Checker Blood Donation - Recipients Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Drug Side Effects Calculator Post-Nasal Drip Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Iron Intake Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
×

New Test To Diagnose Speech and Motor Defects in Down Syndrome Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests