Master of Science (MS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Jill F. Nilsen
Current research involving developmental apraxia of speech has focused on two areas: 1) determining a unique set of speech and language characteristics of the disorder; and 2) determining an etiology or cause of developmental apraxia. Failure of researchers to determine these issues has lead to increased controversy over the existence of developmental apraxia. Further, no studies have been conducted which discuss the prevalence of developmental apraxia. This researcher suggests that determining the prevalence of developmental apraxia would assist in establishing the disorders' existence, as well as aid researchers in determining if speech-language pathologists have adequate training and knowledge in the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder.
Therefore, a survey was designed to obtain information in the prevalence of developmental apraxia; the major identifying characteristics of the disorder; and the subjects' academic training in the diagnosis and treatment of the disorder. One hundred and sixteen school speech-language pathologists in Illinois served as subjects and supplied survey information.
The results indicated that speech-language pathologists were diagnosing and treating the disorder within the population sampled. In addition, the children reported with develpmental apraxia displayed many of the same speech and language characteristics as reported by researchers in the literature.
Speech-language pathologists from across Illinois reported feeling inadequately prepared to diagnose and treat developmental apraxia. More specifically, the subjects felt the least adequate in diagnosis of the disorder. In addition, the results indicated that speech-language pathologists believe more classes were needed in the diagnosis and treatment of developmental apraxia.
Differences among the regions across Illinois were examined and implications of the study were discussed.
Seibert, Mary Jo, "The Prevalence of Developmental Apraxia in School-aged Children of Illinois" (1994). Masters Theses. 2217.