What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
Apraxia of speech is a complex motor planning disorder that may make a child difficult to understand when they talk. Apraxia is often misdiagnosed and may be difficult to treat. The difficulties and characteristics that accompany Childhood Apraxia of Speech may add frustration for both the child and caregivers. Apraxia of speech requires structured and consistent speech therapy, therefore an intensive and systematic approach will be required to treat Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Is it a speech delay or apraxia?
• A child may develop speech later than usual.
• Some children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech may also have accompanying speech problems, e.g., phonological processes, expressive language difficulties, and/or motor-skill problems.
• Apraxia affects more boys than girls.
• A child may show physical struggle to produce speech, for instance too much jaw opening while attempting to make the “B” sound where lips come together. This is called “groping” behaviors.
• Child’s speech is inconsistent. They may be able to produce “ma” one day and not the next.
• Their speech does not appear to improve on its own.
How can parents help children with apraxia?
• If you suspect your child may have apraxia, get them evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist.
• Be supportive. Your child will need time and consistent speech therapy for their speech to improve. Patience and encouragement will be very beneficial.
• Use rhythm and music to practice speech. Your child’s speech will benefit from the repetitiveness of their favorite songs.
• Treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech requires lots and lots of practice. Partner up with your Speech Therapist! Parent involvement is essential for progress to occur.
• Ask your child’s Speech Language Pathologist to give you tips to apply what was learned in your child’s speech therapy session into your home and school environment.
Our therapists here at Aspire Speech and Learning Center are trained in Apraxia Therapy and will use techniques that will tailor your child’s speech therapy to fit their specific needs.