APJDD Vol 7 No 1 (Jan 2020)

APJDD Vol 7 No 1 (Jan 2020)

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1. Editorial Comment

1. Editorial Comment

Angela J. Fawcett, Editor-in-Chief

 

 

It is a very great pleasure to publish the 13th issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences, now in its seventh year of publication, which is published by the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. The response to the previous issues continue to be extremely gratifying, and we intend to maintain these high standards in this issue and forthcoming issues. We have now amassed an even stronger editorial board, and I am grateful for the support of the academics and professionals involved in resolving any issues arising. In this issue, we present seven articles representing international research on a number of important issues addressing theory and practice. In this issue, we cover the full range, from early education through to university, and highlight a range of approaches that have proved useful with children or adults with developmental differences. In the first article from Lee Er Ker and colleagues, Speech-Language Therapists at the Dyslexia Association of Singapore, the authors set out to investigate the impact of their therapy on the progress of children with language difficulties on subtests of the CELF®– 4UK, a key measure of language in common use in speech therapy. This was evaluated in a controlled study with the intervention group making significantly greater progress over the course of the intervention than the control group. This is an interesting study in an area which is rarely tackled in the literature because it is difficult to construct an appropriate study for children who can suffer from a range of differences in their language. In the following two articles, a range of approaches are considered with children who suffer from visual deficits in their processing, that have been associated with dyslexia. In the first study presented by Isobelle Wong she undertakes an analysis of the level of visual deficits in a group of 30 children receiving support from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. This study introduces a number of technical terms associated with a visual deficit which are important for the following study as well. The results of this study identified a greater proportion of visual deficits in dyslexic children than in the general population, with some children showing evidence of quite severe deficits that would be predicted to impact on their progress in reading. Recommendations are made that future studies should routinely consider these aspects of processing....

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2. Effectiveness of DAS Speech-Language Therapy: A controlled evaluation

2. Effectiveness of DAS Speech-Language Therapy: A controlled evaluation

Lee Er Ker1*, Ho Shuet Lian1, Sharon Reutens1 & Elizabeth Lim Yien Yien1

1. Dyslexia Association of Singapore

 

Abstract

 

Background: School-age children enrolled in the DAS speech-language therapy programme are often diagnosed with both dyslexia and language disorder. The current study shows the positive impact of language therapy on these children as it is practised by speech-language therapists (SLTs) at DAS.

 

Methods: The study involved 23 children in mainstream education aged 5 to 12 who were diagnosed with dyslexia and subsequently with a mild-severe language disorder at the start of the study. A small-scale quasi-experimental design with a control group was used without random assignment of participants to either an intervention condition (n=11), or a control condition (n=12). The intervention group underwent language therapy directly delivered by DAS SLTs in a group setting (1 SLT: 2-3 children) once a week, an hour per session, for at least a term (i.e. ≥ 8 sessions). Participants in the control group matched those in the intervention group overall on age and level of severity but did not receive any speech-language therapy for the duration of the study. All participants in both groups received the same level of literacy support from educational therapists in the curriculum-based DAS Main Literacy Programme (MLP) whilst the study was on-going.

 

Results: Participants in the intervention group showed performance improvements compared to those in the control group in the primary outcome measures of different language skills as measured by the core language subtests of CELF®–4UK, a standardised assessment tool used to assess the presence of a language disorder or delay in children aged 5-21. Statistically, significant improvements were found in both the raw and scaled scores of the Formulated Sentences subtest. In addition, positive effect sizes ranging from small to large were observed for other subtests.

 

Conclusions: The current small scale controlled intervention study targeting the range of subskills addressed by CELF®–4UK identified the significant impact of the approach adopted by SLTs at DAS, with strong effect sizes. The findings support the use of small-group intervention as effective for children with a range of severity in language disorders.

 

Keywords:           speech-language therapy, SLT, DAS, language disorder, group therapy, language intervention.

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3. An Exploratory Study to Investigate Eye Movement Performance and Visual Perceptual Skills in Children with Dyslexia

3. An Exploratory Study to Investigate Eye Movement Performance and Visual Perceptual Skills in Children with Dyslexia

Isobelle Wong1*

1. Educational Therapist / Optometrist

 

Abstract

 

During recent years, many studies have shown that reading difficulties such as dyslexia can co-exist with visual processing deficits. As estimated, 80% of the time, a child learns through the visual channel; any deficits in visual processing may affect learning. While intervention related to phonological deficits is well accepted and practised in Singapore, the possible impact of visual deficits is rarely considered, especially with regard to eye movements and visual perception. Hence, these deficits are usually discovered much later or remain undiagnosed. This study investigates the eye movement performance and visual perception skills in a group of 30 children with dyslexia from the Dyslexia Association of Singapore (DAS) learning centres. The tests used for assessment were the Developmental Eye Movement (DEM) test and the Test of Visual Perceptual Skills (non-motor) 4th Edition (TVPS-4). The data collected were analysed against the normative data. Among the participants, 56.67% of them showed eye movement deficits and 46.67% of them displayed visual perceptual weaknesses. Sixty percent of the parents were aware that their child tends to leave out or confuse words when reading. However, only eleven of the participants had an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

 

Based on the key findings in this study, it is essential to raise awareness among professionals and parents regarding the importance of eye movements and visual perception in children with dyslexia. Any child who shows signs of visual difficulties should be referred for more in-depth visual assessment to identify the actual cause of the difficulties.

 

Keywords:           dyslexia, reading difficulties, eye movement, visual perception, visual perceptual skills, visual processing deficits, rapid automatized naming (RAN)

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4. The Effect of Wearing ChromaGen Lens II on Visual Stress, Binocular Visual Functions and Reading Performance in Children with Dyslexia

4. The Effect of Wearing ChromaGen Lens II on Visual Stress, Binocular Visual Functions and Reading Performance in Children with Dyslexia

Sharanjeet-Kaur1* & Mizhanim Mohamad Shahimin1, Rifizati Buyong1

1. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

 

Abstract

 

Dyslexia is a neurodevelopmental disorder that primarily affects reading ability. There are many anecdotal claims that coloured lenses and overlays improve reading performance. However, the effectiveness is still controversial. This study aimed to compare visual stress levels, binocular visual functions and reading performance on children with dyslexia without and with the second generation of ChromaGen lens (ChromaGen lens II). A total of 28 children with dyslexia were invited to participate in this study. All subjects were free from ocular and systemic diseases and never had any visual intervention for their dyslexia problem. The study involved pre -and post-assessments of visual stress, binocular visual functions and reading performance without and with ChromaGen lens II wear. Each individual subject chose their own preferred colour of the Chromagen lens II. For both pre-and post-assessments, the subjects completed a computerised visual stress test (Lucid ViSS) and a series of binocular visual function tests (stereopsis, the amplitude of accommodation, fixation disparity, lag of accommodation and near the point of convergence). The reading performance was assessed based on reading rate and time. The results for visual stress showed no significant difference with and without wearing the ChromaGen lens II (Z = -1.107, p = 0.268). There were no significant differences in other binocular vision functions except for stereopsis (Z = -4.413, p = 0.00) with and without wearing ChromaGen lens II. There were also no significant improvements in reading time (Z = -0.159, p = 0.873) and reading rate (Z = -1.0.47, p = 0.295) with and without wearing the ChromaGen lens II. The findings suggest that ChromaGen lens II does not improve reading performance in children with dyslexia. It also does not change most binocular vision functions except stereopsis.

 

Keywords:           Dyslexia, visual stress, reading, coloured lenses, binocular visual performance

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