Speech Therapy Treatments For Childhood Apraxia Of Speechhttps://www.triumphtherapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Triumph-Therapeutics-Speech-Therapy-OT-Physical-Therapist-Washington-DC-Aug01-01-2021.jpg 710 379 Triumph Therapeutics Triumph Therapeutics https://www.triumphtherapeutics.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Triumph-Therapeutics-Speech-Therapy-OT-Physical-Therapist-Washington-DC-Aug01-01-2021.jpg
Childhood apraxia of speech is a disorder where your child’s brain struggles to coordinate speech movements.
It’s not a muscle weakness, which is a common misunderstanding.
Your child’s brain has to learn how to make the plan that directs their lips, jaw, and tongue during speech that results in accurate sounds and words.
Speech therapy is a great solution for this disorder, where your therapist will break down the correct way to say words, syllables, and phrases so that your child can improve.
Now, if you’re looking for a child speech therapist in Washington DC contact Triumph Therapeutics to speak with one of our many experienced speech therapists.
Now, let’s learn more.
What Is Childhood Apraxia Of Speech?
Childhood apraxia of speech is a rare speech disorder where your child has difficulty making accurate movements while speaking.
It’s important to note that their speech muscles aren’t weak.
While it seems like a muscle issue, it’s actually not.
Their speech muscles are just fine, but their brain is struggling to direct and coordinate them.
What Causes Childhood Apraxia Of Speech?
If your child has received a pediatric evaluation and it’s found they have childhood apraxia of speech, there are a number of possible causes.
More often than not, however, we can’t determine a specific cause.
This speech disorder can be the result of a brain condition or injury such as a stroke, infection, or traumatic brain injury.
However, this tends to be more often the case with adult apraxia of speech, since these conditions are comparatively rare in babies.
Childhood apraxia of speech can also manifest as a symptom of a genetic disorder or metabolic condition.
Not unlike tongue tie, childhood apraxia of speech is often a congenital condition – babies are just born with it, and we don’t yet fully understand why.
While it can also be referred to as a developmental apraxia, children with this disorder don’t necessarily grow out of it.
Speech therapy is required to maximize their development.
When Should You Speak With A Speech Therapist?
There are a variety of speech characteristics that your child may have if they have childhood apraxia of speech.
These will vary depending on their age and the severity of your child’s speech challenge.
If your child is between 18 months and 2 years, your child may have childhood apraxia of speech if you notice:
- Delayed onset of first words
- Limited number of spoken words
- Only able to form a few consonant or vowel sounds.
If your child is between 2 and 4 years old, the symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech you may notice are:
- Separation of syllables in or between words
- Voicing errors like the word ‘pie’ sounding like ‘bye’
- Vowel and consonant distortions
Broadly speaking, children with childhood apraxia of speech have a hard time getting their jaw, tongues, and lips to move to the correct positions to make a sound.
Transitions between sounds are also a challenge.
As a result, you may notice that your child has a reduced vocabulary or difficulty with sentence word order.
If you notice your child has any of these symptoms, you should contact a pediatric therapy clinic like Triumph Therapeutics for an assessment.
Speech Therapy For Childhood Apraxia Of Speech
The goal with childhood apraxia of speech is to diagnose it early and start speech therapy in order to reduce the risk of long term persistence of the problem.
If you notice your child has any persistent speech problems, you should have them evaluated by a speech therapist for this reason.
Now, let’s explore exactly what your speech therapist will do if your child has childhood apraxia of speech.
Testing is the first step when you bring your child to a speech therapist.
To test for childhood apraxia of speech, your speech therapist will look at your child’s oral motor skills, speech melody (intonation), and how they say different words.
This includes checking how well your child says speech sounds alone, as well as combined in syllables or words.
2. Practicing Sound And Mouth Movement
A speech therapist will teach your child how to plan the movements needed to say correct sounds and how to make those movements correctly.
They will also focus on timing to teach your child to make those movements at the correct time.
The key area of focus is practicing the movements and teaching your child how to use their oral muscles.
3. Practicing Speech Drills
Speech drills are going to be vital for your child.
By practicing and utilizing all the senses when learning how to say sounds, your child will retain more information.
Some things they might use are:
- Touch cues, like touching their lips when say the ‘p’ sound to remember to close the lips
- Visual cues, like using a mirror to watch when making sounds
- Listening cues, like practicing with voice recordings and listening back to them to hear if the sounds were made correctly
4. Exploring AAC Options
Augmentative and alternative communication, often shortened to AAC, is another option your speech therapist may try to help teach your child how to communicate.
Typically, this will supplement the other methods, but will help to ensure your child is continuing to learn language and vocabulary.
Some types of AAC include sign language, picture boards, or computers that talk.
Together, as part of a speech therapy regiment, it can be an effective tool to help your child overcome their childhood apraxia of speech.
Book An Appointment With Triumph Therapeutics Today
As you can see, speech therapy is a great resource to help with childhood apraxia of speech.
The earlier your child is able to start speech therapy, the greater the chances for success because there will have been less time for bad speech habits to get ingrained.
Remember, this disorder doesn’t necessarily dissipate as your child develops.
Book an appointment today with Triumph Therapeutics to get started and schedule an evaluation.
We look forward to working with you.
If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.
Triumph Therapeutics is a team of highly experienced pediatric therapists specializing in physical therapy, speech language therapy, and occupation therapy for children, adolescents and their families as they work to reach their growth and wellness goals