General Strategies to Support Students with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia (DVD)

  • Reduce your rate of speech
  • Encourage the student to reduce his/her rate of speech
  • Provide clear models for sound production
  • Encourage students to participate with peers in activities
  • Encourage students to initiate conversations
  • Allow additional response time
  • Try not to ask for repetitions. Instead identify for the student the portion of what he/she has said that you understand, ask the student to clarify the parts of the sentence you did not understand and encourage the student to do so in a slow, steady voice
  • Remember that difficulties and frustrated behaviour may present if the student is asked to repeat something or is put on the spot
  • Try not to complete sentences for the student
  • Encourage the student to persevere with what he/she is trying to say
  • Use visual cues where possible
  • Use concrete materials in the implementation of the curriculum
  • Home-school journals can be helpful as a means of communicating interests and experiences, particularly with younger students or students whose speech is particularly unintelligible
  • Be consistent in the language you use (e.g. instructions, explanations etc.) and ensure the student is following what you are saying. Sometimes restate the instruction in a simpler manner
  • Praise the student for effort
  • Be aware that the student may need a break from oral activities
  • School staffs need to know how to identify and support children with Verbal Dyspraxia or Speech Sound Communication Disorder, to plan collaboratively to effectively support the inclusion of students with this disorder
  • Early intervention may greatly help to lessen the child’s difficulties
  • Interventions need to look at the individual child’s profile of strengths and needs and how barriers to learning can be effectively removed.  Teachers need to accurately identify the child’s needs and to plan effective and achievable small step targets to support these needs. Special teaching is not needed but differentiation of difficult areas of the curriculum is recommended to ensure success.
  • Effective assistive technology interventions are required  (See suggestions by Deirdre Madden, Assistive Technology Outreach Coordinator, Disability Support Service, University College Cork on Dyspraxia DCD Ireland website)