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Visual Motor Integration Skills and Speech Sounds

Visual Motor Integration Skills and Speech Sounds

Perceptual and Motor Skills  published research on visual motor integration skills in children with speech sound disorders (SSD).  A SSD is defined as a “persistent difficulty with speech sound production that interferes with speech intelligibility or prevents verbal communication of messages”.  Visual motor integration (VMI) is defined as the coordination of visual and motor functioning, which is closely related to academic skills.  Since visual input plays an important role in learning the phonological structure of language, children use multimodal information to determine how to produce a sound by perceiving speech spoken both by themselves and others.

The participants included 65 Turkish children aged from 5 to 6½ years old (31 with speech sound problems and 34 age matched controls without speech problems).  Each child was evaluated with the Ankara Articulation Test for evaluating speech sound skills and the Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration with its supplemental tests of Visual Perception and Motor Coordination.

The results indicated that the children with SSD scored significantly lower than the control group in Visual Motor Integration, Visual Perception, and Motor Coordination.

The researchers recommend that if a child has SSD there may be visual motor deficits. Even though phonological errors are a natural part of the developmental process, visual motor skills should be examined if the child’s speech sound development falls within a very low percentile.

Reference:  Ercan, Z. G., Yilmaz, Ş., Taş, M., & Aral, N. (2016). Investigation of Visual Motor Integration Skills in Children With Speech Sound Problems. Perceptual and motor skills, 0031512516664894.

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