Neuromotor functionality of speech readiness for school in older preschool children with logopathology
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AbstractThe purpose of this study was to identify the current state of neuromotor functionality, which affects speech readiness for schooling, in older preschool children with speech pathologies. Research methods were aimed at studying the components of neuromotor functionality: kinaesthetic and kinetic wrist, oral and articulatory praxis. Significant differences emerged in the formation of neuromotor functionality between the groups of children with logopathology and those with normotypical psychophysical development. In older preschool children with speech disorders, low abilities were found when performing tasks of kinaesthetic and kinetic wrist (fussy movements of the fingers and hands; searching for the right position and the incorrect joining of the fingers and hand positions; the presence of perseverance of previous movements; underdeveloped fine motility of the fingers of hands; difficulties in subject activities), oral (problematic switching of organs of the articulatory apparatus; long search for an articulatory posture, incomplete range of motion, deviation from configurations, presence of synkinesis, hyperkinesis), and articulatory (defect of all sounds of groups; replacement, mixing, distortion or absence of individual sounds during their isolated pronunciation; distortion of the sound-syllable structure of words) praxis. Children were found to be passive during classes and needed constant support from the teacher. The revealed shapeless state of neuromotor functionality confirmed our hypothesis. Impairment of neuromotor function is present in a significant percentage of preschoolers with speech disorders, which becomes a characteristic feature of this category of children.
The relationship between the meaning in life and the subjective vitality in people with disabilities
AbstractThe link between the meaning in life and the subjective vitality is not clear in people with disabilities. The aim of the research here presented was to investigate the main effects and the interaction effects of the presence of the meaning in life (PML) and search for the meaning in life (SML) on the subjective vitality (SV) in people with disabilities. An online cross-sectional study was carried out on a sample of 1018 individuals with disabilities in the U.S. Participants completed the meaning in life and subjective vitality measures. Hierarchical regression analysis showed that people with acquired and progressive disabilities had lower vitality compared to people with congenital disabilities. Moreover, the presence of and search for the meaning in life had positive main effects on subjective vitality, highlighting that the search for meaning does not lead to a decrease in vitality. A significant but weak negative correlation was also found between the presence of and search for the meaning in life. The positive effect of the presence of the meaning in life increased with a decrease in the level of search for the meaning in life. These findings further indicate that individuals with disabilities who cope with challenging life experiences may foster a balance between the presence of the meaning and search for the meaning in life and stabilize their meaning system.
Analysis of AI-enhanced educational tools developed in India for linguistic minorities and disabled people
AbstractArtificial Intelligence (AI) is a thriving technology, which is transforming all aspects of our society especially in the education sector. AI in the educational domain helps in improving the learning process by making use of AI tools. In India, different tools have been developed for different purposes. Some AI tools have also been developed for disabled students so that people with disabilities may also gain benefit of location-independent learning. Thus, these tools help to improve the learning of students effectively. In this paper, the authors discussed and analyzed some AI tools developed for the improvement of education by breaking the language barrier among students. The results of the study showed that AI tools help in making high-quality educational content accessible to a wider range of the population. This has led to a more talented workforce, to an improved employability and has contributed to the comprehensive development of the country. The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in online education, and AI language translation tools played a crucial role in facilitating multilingual online learning. For instance, during the pandemic, the National Program on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) in India adopted AI translation tools to translate video lectures into regional languages.
The use of virtual reality in Rett Syndrome rehabilitation to improve the learning motivation and upper limb motricity: A pilot study
AbstractThe aims of the present pilot study were two: a) to investigate if learning and exercise in a virtual reality (VR) environment was motivating and emotionally positive for subjects with Rett Syndrome (RTT), and b) to examine if the speed of motor reaction was higher in a virtual or concrete environment. To achieve these aims, specific VR environments were developed to stimulate motor skills. Seven subjects with RTT were tested in three experimental conditions. In the concrete condition, real stimuli were placed on the table and the participants were invited to reach the stimulus. In the 2D and 3D conditions, a computer was placed on the table, and, through the developed software, stimuli were shown in 2D and 3D environments. The virtual system was able to recognize the reaching movements of participants. Thus, the object shown in the virtual environment moved towards the participant when the participant tried to grasp it. Results indicated that in the virtual environment the participants were more motivated and emotionally more involved in the proposed exercises. The motor speed was lower in concrete and 2D conditions than 3D conditions. This pilot study shows preliminary evidence on the usability of VR for RTT in improving learning, motivation and motricity.
COVID-19 impact on adults with disabilities: A lifespan analysis
AbstractThe Covid pandemic has indicated that social structures need to be more equitable, inclusive, resilient, and strengthened to better support adults across disability and age status. The aim of this study was to increase our understanding of community needs at the intersection of disability, age, and racial equity during the Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 441 individuals were surveyed cross-sectionally using the Epidemic – Pandemic Impacts Inventory Geriatric Adaptation (EPII-G). The mean age of the sample was 58.22 years old (range 19-94 years of age); moreover, a little over half of the sample (n = 241, 54.64%) was below the age of 62 and 69.29% of these reported disability, while the rest (n = 200, 45.35%) was over the age of 62 and 65.00% of these reported disability. The study’s findings indicated significant (p < .05) psychosocial consequences of the Covid pandemic both for disability groups and younger adults. Differences were identified for mental health, social health, and access issues. The social structural changes that occurred during Covid created a larger effect on young and disabled adults, suggesting that the systems that these groups relied on were challenged during Covid.
Virtual reality for the assessment and treatment of cognitive impairment in the elderly: A scoping review
AbstractThe review aims to analyze the recent scientific literature on Virtual Reality (VR) applied to elderly people with cognitive impairment or dementia.
One hundred and four articles were examined, concerning both the effectiveness of VR interventions, at different levels of immersion or with augmented reality, and the usability and acceptability of these technologies.
The use of VR for the diagnostic assessment of mental deterioration is also discussed.
Finally, the need for training to enhance the potential of VR in rehabilitation is underlined.