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  • Casadie Morris

Understanding Apraxia of Speech

Is your child hard to understand? This is not only frustrating for you as parents, but this is also very overwhelming for your child. Can you imagine knowing exactly what you want to say, but then going to move your mouth, only to have the sounds not come out the way you want? This is what a child with apraxia faces every day, and with almost every word. These children do not struggle with muscle weakness, but instead their ability to get messages from their brain to their mouth in order to execute the movements needed to produce speech. This is especially cumbersome when words become longer, and when the child is asked to imitate what others say.

 

Childhood apraxia of speech may differ from developmental speech sounds disorders in that a child’s prosody will likely sound flat, and they may have inconsistent errors on both consonants and vowels, which do not follow a typical developmental pattern.


Some examples include;

  1. Delayed speech development: Children with AOS may not start speaking or may have limited speech compared to their peers.

  2. Inconsistent speech errors: Their speech may be inconsistent, with the same word or sound produced differently each time it is attempted.

  3. Difficulty imitating speech sounds: Children with AOS may struggle to imitate sounds or words accurately.

  4. Difficulty with complex or longer words: They may have particular difficulty with longer or more complex words, as these require more precise coordination of speech movements.

  5. Limited speech intelligibility: Their speech may be difficult for others to understand due to distorted or inaccurate sound production.

  6. Groping movements: Some children with AOS may exhibit groping movements, where they appear to struggle to position their articulators (lips, tongue, jaw) correctly for speech.

Diagnosis of apraxia of speech in children typically involves a comprehensive speech and language evaluation conducted by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Treatment typically consists of intensive speech therapy tailored to the individual child's needs, focusing on improving speech motor planning and coordination. Therapy may involve various techniques, including repetition drills, multisensory approaches, and use of visual cues to support speech production. Early intervention is crucial for maximizing the child's communication potential and improving long-term outcomes.


If you suspect your child may have childhood apraxia of speech, speech therapy can provide support for you and your family. Not only can Circle Creek Therapy offer support to your child, but we can offer support to your family in order to facilitate effective communication, and help prevent additional frustration.

 

 

 



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