The Benefits of Speech Therapy for Apraxia
There are a large variety of speech and language disorders that can benefit from speech therapy. One often misunderstood speech-language disorder is Apraxia.
What is Apraxia?
Apraxia is a motor speech disorder. It manifests as having trouble saying sounds, syllables, and words. The brain will have difficulty connecting with and moving the lips, jaw, and tongue which are needed for speech. This is not because of weakness or paralysis but has to do with the brain. A child will know what they want to say, but their brain will struggle with coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those sounds, words, or sentences.
There is a large variation of signs and symptoms seen in Apraxia of speech. Every child will present in different ways, making it vital to have a speech-language evaluation with a licensed speech therapist. Apraxia Kids lists the top three characteristics of Apraxia as 1.) Inconsistent errors with consonants and vowels on the repeated production of syllables and words. 2.) Difficulty moving from sound to sound or syllable to syllable resulting in long pauses between sounds and syllables. And 3.) Inappropriate stress on syllables or words.
Sometimes Apraxia sounds like a lisp as they struggle to get the sound out. It can also create a great deal of frustration for the child who knows what he/she wants to say, resulting in behavior problems.
Diagnosing Apraxia of Speech
Proper diagnosis from a licensed speech therapist is the best way to discover what is at the root of your child’s difficulty in communicating. With a full speech and language evaluation, our licensed speech therapists will be able to identify the underlying disorder. They don’t just test for speech and language disorders but will evaluate hearing and watch for other developmental signals that might require other types of intervention.
How Does Speech Therapy Help Apraxia?
With regular and frequent work with a speech therapist, practicing speech and the muscle movements needed for speech, a child with Apraxia can improve. The speech therapist will provide multi-sensory feedback and cues to the student to encourage and improve repeat sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. If speech is posing such a significant challenge that your child is either shutting down or acting out, a speech-therapist may teach a student sign language or how to use another system to allow for better communication while their speech improves.
Note: Some are opposed to the sign language route for fear that the child will use this method instead of making the effort for verbal communication.
Our speech therapists will also provide family support and guidance as practice at home in a positive and patient environment is vital to success during speech therapy for Apraxia.
If your child is struggling to communicate, please consider a speech-language assessment today. Our expert team can determine if speech therapy is right for them and determine a custom program to meet their specific speech-language needs. Call or contact us today to get started. 704-845-1561