Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder. Children with childhood apraxia of speech have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This happens when the brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he/she wants to say but is unable to due to the brain’s difficulties in coordinating the muscle movements necessary to make those sounds and say those words.
What are some signs or symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech?
Some of the signs and symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech are also the signs and symptoms of other speech delays or speech disorders so it is important that your child gets evaluated by a speech pathologist to make the diagnosis. Also, all the signs and symptoms might not be present in every child. Typically, children with apraxia are quiet with minimal singing or chatter while playing or doing other activities. Children with apraxia typically have no problem following directions or understanding what you say to them. They act a lot like other children their age; they just do not communicate very much verbally. They may use a lot of gestures or pointing to get their message across to you.
What treatments are available for children with apraxia of speech?
Research has shown that children with childhood apraxia of speech that receive frequent and intensive treatment through speech therapy have more success in overcoming their speech delays. The focus of the speech therapy will be to plan, sequence, and coordinate muscle movements for speech production through isolated exercises to strengthen the oral muscles. To improve speech, the child must practice speech and practice at home is very important.
Speech Tails is a great speech therapy program for children with childhood apraxia of speech as it is available 24/7/365 so children can get practice in whenever is most convenient for them. They can also benefit from the Speech Tails program as it allows for speech therapy use for however long the child is willing to engage in the therapy session as opposed to other programs where the time limit is usually set for an hour at a time.