Speech impediment is among the many disabilities that affect performance of children in the United States. The verbal communication of individuals is interfered with thereby implying that the impaired fail to communicate effectively with their teachers, fellow students as well as their close relatives. The result is a drop in the school performance if they are not subjected to the proper treatments which makes them improve their situation. This means that with proper interventions, they are able to significantly acquire higher scores in subjects such as English and Mathematics that are among the core fields in testing students’ competence. Various theories have been formulated to suggest possible causes of speech impairment and the effects with various research designs involved in the process. The study, therefore, reveals the theories while looking at how the theories relate to the issue of impediment and test scores obtained by the students. The prospectus also considers the key factors that make research findings free firm bias and more reliable.
Theories have been formulated and tested with regards to the issue of how speech impediments affects test scores of students. This implies that there is a need for proper interventions to ensure that those affected get similar and even better scores compared to the students who lack the disability. Speech impediment in this case is a common problem with many scholars relating it with cases of autism as the key reason for the disability. However, it is often argued that through appropriate accommodation structures, those with speech impediment could still perform better in subjects including English and Mathematics which determine academic potential of most impaired students. The research therefore discusses the concept of speech impairment while looking at the different data used by various scholars in reaching conclusions regarding scores obtained by children with speech problems. Aspects that contribute to credible and reliable research findings are also discussed with major emphasis on the need for effective data collection and analysis.
Theories explaining speech impediment
The theory by Falkman et al (2004) is among key theories that have tried to explain the concept of speech impediment. Relying on a sample of children with autism, they found out that the children’s competence is affected in terms of ability to perform various academic tasks. Falkman and her colleagues developed a three stage model whereby stage one identifies how perception and imagination affects children with speech problems.
Stage two on the other hand discusses the concept of desire and intention of children when exposed to the right conditions. Lastly, Falkman and her colleagues also discovered that speech impairment affects the belief and knowledge of students, thereby hindering their ability to get higher scores in the case of academic tests. The ability of the children to understand the beliefs, thoughts and emotions of other people is interfered with thereby making them unable to actively manipulate objects as well as ensure they have linguistic competence. Lewis and her colleagues are also among the scholars who engaged in finding out about how speech disorders affect children, both school goers and the younger ones who are yet to join school programs.
Relying on a sample of 185 children, Lewis and her friends were interested in testing grammatical competence among the children. The sample also involved both the moderate and severe cases of speech impairment with individual tests done to obtain the results. Thirty eight out of the sample size were followed to school age where they were assessed for reading as well as spelling skills. In the case where children had been subjected to better accommodation, the children performed better compared to those that had not been exposed to the proper interventions to improve their competence. As such, though with speech impediments, the school going children are still able to have average competence in mastering of reading and spelling techniques which further improves their overall English performance.
Dahlgren et al also came up with findings regarding theory related to speech disorder. They acknowledged that the ability of the children to take part in the daily lives is interfered with which therefore limits their working memories. Relying on a sample of fourteen children, they found out that speech problems affected intellectual abilities as well as syntactic capacity.
The children were subjected to tests such as thought pictures where their memories were tested. However, with measures in place to help the students, they are to a considerable extent able to improve their thoughts and understand the fact that they could perform even better through imaginative thoughts and practicing language skills.
The conflicts that arise with the methods used in the theories is the fact that while other dependent on cerebral palsy in explaining the conditions in the children, other relied on children that had no mental issues. However, to a significant extent, relying on children with no cerebral palsy in this case is better since the sample could represent a significant majority. This means that it is possible to subject the children to proper accommodation structures that eventually leads to reliable comparative studies in the competence levels between those that have good accommodation and those that are denied proper accommodation. Most of the theorists also rely on testing linguistic competence since they relate speech disorders with mastery in linguistics. However, it is preferred to assess the competence levels of the different groups, though, considering skills in English and Mathematics that form major part of basis education skills.
Research Methods Appropriate for Study
Research methods are critical aspects to consider while carrying out a survey regarding particular fields of interest such as speech impediments as in our case. Researchers consider both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the study since they would want accurate and reliable findings. This implies that the major point of interests is in obtaining results that reflect the true facts of the study and not results that are biased hence cannot be dependent upon. In answering the research questions, there is a need to look into the questions that give rise to quantitative analysis and those that would require only qualitative aspects.
Quantitative methods are to a considerable extent better since they give the numerical estimates of the findings, this implies that from the results, a researcher is able to analyze numerical facts to find out the correlations between variables. Other measures to be analyzed include mean values, standard deviation and variance which are all key to obtaining accurate results. Quantitative methods also allow researchers to test levels of significance which again assist in comparing theoretical aspects to the test results obtained. Therefore, to effectively obtain credible and reliable results, it is highly advisable to rely on numerical or quantitative aspects of the study. Qualitative aspects are also important in this case since they give results that reflect the feelings, behavior and attitudes of individuals towards ensuring that those with speech impairment are able to acquire basic skills at school. Qualitative methods therefore rely on factors that cannot be numerically estimated thereby relying on the feedback of respondents identified for the research purpose.
Data collection techniques
Collections of data is also among the major components of a research whereby in this case, a researcher needs to be considerable of the sources of information. As for the case with speech impediments, it is highly preferred that the subjects involve those affected by the conditions as well as teachers responsible for their development. Parents could also be involved in the study since they give a clear description of cognitive development of the children affected form the time they were born to the age where they are able to attend school. Data sources could also involve secondary sources. The choice for secondary sources is because of a need to compare theoretical findings with the statistical findings. Secondary data sources in this case include research articles, books and reports which give adescription of the factors affecting development of those with speech disorders.
The secondary sources are also important as they make it easier to identify the thoughts of various scholars with regards to the theories formulated to explain how individuals could cope with the condition to improve their scores at school. Data collection instruments include questionnaires that are widely used in finding information through interviewing respondents. The questionnaires could be structured or unstructured depending on the results the searcher wants. Structured questionnaires are in this case better since they give more information with regards to various factors affecting skills mastery among speech impaired persons. Through the questionnaires, it is possible to design a question in the best way possible, thereby representing a true reflection of the thoughts of a researcher.
The sample determination is also key thing to consider whereby in the event where the sample does not represent the population, then problems arise on the credibility and reliability of the findings. This mean that there is need to critically consider the sample size whereby in this case, the sample would largely include children affected with the condition. The other important way to collect information through observation. This is because the behavior and characteristics of the sample could easily be observed thereby leading to reliable findings. Observations include identifying the ability to be imaginative as well as ability to solve mathematical and grammatical problems. From observation, it is likely that a researcher is able to scrutinize how individuals behave given a certain environment. Researcher has to carefully come up with a plan on how the data will be collected since lack of a plan creates flaws in the whole process. This implies that there is need to consider the best sources for information in the case with secondary sources of information. The researcher also needs to consider the contents to consider while, designing questionnaire. This is because failure to consider such leads to many unwanted information that could be a waste of time for both enumerators and respondents.
While relying on observation of potential and capabilities exhibited by children with speech disorders, it is appropriate to identify the core attributes to observe. This is because observation of unwanted attributes could mean results that are not a reflection of the research questions and the hypothesis to be tested. Researchers also need to consider the conditions for data collections. In the case with the study on school goers with speech impediments, there is a need to ensure that consent is obtained from their parents, teachers or directly from the children. This is for compliance to ethical considerations while conducting the study. The fact is that respondents need to be willing to provide information rather than being coerced or bribed such that they are unable to provide meaningful information. Obtaining information without consent may lead to biased findings since respondents may not be interested in giving interviewers the right information. With the case of observation, there is a need to consider ethical standards such that the individuals observed should not be made to believe that the observers are keen in stalking their behavior. This leads to biased data since individuals may alter their behavior to reflect what is not true of them.
Activities that Reduce Bias in Results Obtained
Reducing bias is critical for any study whereby in this case, the researcher first attempts to obtain accurate information from respondents. As with the case with observation, researchers need to note down the actual attributes observed rather than conclude on what they had not seen. Bias could also be reduced through ensuring that the research questions are well addressed and that findings reflect the hypothesis to be tested. Bias reduces the overall reliability and credibility of data results obtained. Researchers need to consider the sampling procedures carefully to eliminate any forms of systematic errors that could be witnessed.
This implies that there is a need for careful consideration of the sample to be involved in the survey such that the right people as well as right questions have to be included in the questionnaires. Interviewers need to be keen on the nature of respondents and sample representatives as well as consider whether they are interested in individuals with moderate or high levels of speech disorder. There is also need to consider the mental state of the individuals since speech impairments could be in both individuals with mental disorders as well as those that are mentally stable. Selecting the wrong people for the study, therefore limits the chances of achieving the purpose of the study. The other key aspect to consider is in the analysis phase such that researchers need to be careful with the variable chosen for analysis. This implies that there needs to be correlation between the variables to be analyzed as well as the fact that researchers need to be aware of the theoretical findings on the case. Failure to take into consideration the theoretical part of the study means that the researcher will not be conversant with the research topic and may therefore end up producing results that are biased. This limits that ability to obtain credible and reliable results for policy making and further recommendation, thereby rendering the research practice a possible waste of time and resources.
Data analysis techniques and tools
Data analysis is key to obtaining statistical significance while comparing theoretical and practical results. This means that researchers need to consider the various data analysis procedures that make findings reliable. Data analysis procedures in this case, identify the variables to be included in the quantitative aspects such that the scores obtained are tested using different statistical measures. This includes relying on measures such as the mean, standard deviation, variance and regression analysis to determine numerical estimates of the data obtained.
Such measures, therefore make it easier to determine relevance of information obtained from the respondents’ such that in the case where there are larger variations, the data could be considered unreliable for the research purpose identified. This implies that there is need to be careful when collecting the information to ensure that errors of entry are avoided, that is, ensuring that there is a high level of accuracy when asking respondents questions. Qualitative data needs also to be recorded with respect to the actual observation since failure to record such could limit the chances of obtaining true facts for conclusion and recommendation purposes. There are a variety of tools that could be used for analysis purpose. These include software that makes it easier during the analysis stage. Reliance on software also makes it possible to eliminate errors that could be obtained in the case with no data analysis software. Such software includes the SPSS and STATA tools which have over the years assisted in easier analysis of dat. Researchers need however to choose the tools with which they are more comfortable with while using since a complex data analysis tool could also limit the success of analysis.
When conducting research studies, there is a need to ensure that the outcome of the study is desirable through ensuring that the results are credible and reliable. This implies that researchers need to carefully consider the sample to be included in the survey such that the right people as well as the right questions need to be included in the study. Failure to pick the right people for the interview means that the findings will have biased information that limits reliance on the findings for future work and referencing. Researchers need to consider the best data collection techniques that include designing a questionnaire in a way that ensure the right information sis capture. Ethical considerations are also important such that the respondents have to be consented to ensure theta they participate in the excise freely without being coerced.
Researchers should also have considered the theoretical aspects of the comparative studies between differences in performance among speech impaired students. The ability to be aware of the theoretical aspects imply that the researchers are able to determine whether there are larger variances between he results obtained and those that were expected from the study. Design analysis tools also play significant role in ensuring successful research studies in this case, there is a need to consider the best analytical tools as well as those that could be easily used by the researchers.
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