Apraxia of Speech?
What is Apraxia of Speech?
Apraxia of speech is the difficulty coordinating speech movements, necessary for production of sounds and words.
Apraxia (inability to coordinate movement) or Dyspraxia (Reduced coordination of movement) can happen in development of a young child or as a result of a neurological condition, or an injury, such as a stroke.
How do speech therapists teach a child with Apraxia of speech to talk?
Discrete teaching of sounds; Using single sound verbal models and demonstration, picture cues of sound production in isolation and syllables, visual feedback (such as a mirror) during productions.
Using child centered, play-based therapy (low stress), which includes a high repetition of early sounds, environmental sounds, early words, repetitive (age-appropriate) stories that are highly engaging and include predictable words or sentence completion.
If my child is not talking at age 18 months to 2 years, should I be concerned? Is speech pathology available at a young age?
Yes, by the time your child is 18 months to 2 years you should begin asking your pediatrician for advice and seeking early intervention options. Yes, it is possible your child could just start talking at 30 months and catch up with their peers. However, research indicates, early intervention is highly effective in prevention of further delays.
Are there any ways to help my child learn language, while they are non verbal?
Yes, even if your child is not talking, continue to model single words, sing nursery rhymes, read repetitive books (augmenting verbal language), and provide opportunities daily for your child to make choices from two or more items, follow directions, and imitate your actions (augmenting receptive language). A speech therapist can also help you develop other non verbal avenues for your child to initiate and communicate their needs, such as using baby sign language, pictures or flat communication boards to high tech communication apps.
Meghan Baulch MS CCC-SLP has 15 years experience working with children, 7 of which she provided early intervention services (birth to age 3). Call our office and ask about a free screening. Come meet our therapist to decide if we are a good fit for your child and family.