If a speech pathologist has diagnosed your child with apraxia of speech, you will understandably be concerned. This can be a serious condition and may lead to frustration for you and your child. The more you learn about this speech problem, the more comfortable you can be in getting the right treatment. It is helpful…
Apraxia – Speech Therapy FAQs
Speech therapy is an important way to help children with apraxia learn how to speak properly and clearly. This condition is not common but manifests itself early in a child’s life. It can be frustrating as a parent — and for the child — to see the young person struggle putting words together. If your child has been diagnosed with apraxia, get help from a speech therapist. Before you take these steps, it is helpful to understand what this condition is and what a therapist can do.
An overview of apraxia
Apraxia occurs early in a child’s life. This condition involves the brain’s inability to communicate effectively with the person’s mouth. In apraxia, the child cannot move their mouth, lips, and tongue correctly to form words. The brain is unable to direct the movements necessary for clear and accurate speaking. Speech therapy is a good way to train children on how to correct these issues. The speech pathologist will show the child strategies to properly coordinate jaw and lip movement so that speech can be in the right rhythm and speed.
Drilling on speech
Children in speech therapy for apraxia must learn how to say words correctly and clearly. The therapist may become with repetition exercises. When the child says words over and over, the brain can train itself to effectively manage the right movements. During a single session, the therapist may go over a single word numerous times. As the child improves this ability, this technique will increase to using phrases and sentences.
Many children tend to struggle with vowels more than consonants. Words with vowels may be distorted as the child tries to say them. Knowing this, the therapist will focus on words and phrases that contain multiple vowels. Practicing vowel sounds for a long period can help the child learn how to move their mouth correctly and speak the sounds more clearly.
In some speech therapy sessions, the therapist may do much of the talking. It can be helpful for the child to watch the therapist say certain words and how their mouth, jaw, and lips move. The therapist may then ask the child to mimic these movements. Over time, the brain will start to send the right signals to the mouth to do this automatically for the child.
A focused approach
No two children struggling with apraxia are alike. In any speech therapy plan, the therapist will cater the sessions to meet the child’s needs. Some children may need to go at a slower pace than others. Parents can expect the therapist to be patient and work on certain aspects of speech improvement for as long as necessary. The goal will be to start out slowly with sounds and words the child can manage. With consistent work and effort, the child can move on to more complex words and sentences.
Speech therapy for your child can be successful
If you are worried about your child’s ability to speak, you should talk to a speech therapist. Your child may have apraxia. If this is the case, a series of therapy sessions can help your son or daughter to overcome these challenges. As you see what this therapy addresses and can accomplish, you can feel good about embracing these techniques.
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