Houston Therapist

Apraxia TreatmentHouston, TX

Children with apraxia of speech have trouble making accurate movements simultaneously while speaking. Typically, children with this disorder are better able to understand language than express it. A qualified speech therapist can help children with apraxia build language skills and overall self-confidence.

Apraxia treatment is available at Small Talk Therapy Services in Houston. This condition can be stressful for parents to witness and frustrating for children to experience. Our therapist will help you learn how to promote and incorporate your child's treatment in daily life. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

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Understanding Apraxia

Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that is present from birth. It is a neurological condition that makes it challenging to make certain motor movements. Some children may find it impossible to make these movements at all. This phenomenon occurs whether or not the children have otherwise normal muscles. Milder forms of apraxia may be called dyspraxia.

Apraxia can manifest itself in different areas of the body. Orofacial apraxia is a form of apraxia where the affected cannot perform certain voluntary movements involving the facial muscles. A child with apraxia of speech will find it difficult or even impossible to move their mouth or tongue to speak, negatively affecting their ability to produce sounds and words. However, apraxia alone does not affect comprehension skills.

Causes of Apraxia

Like with many other similar disorders, researchers do not yet have a definite answer for what causes childhood apraxia of speech. Some believe it has to do with a child's overall language development, while others think it has to do with the brain's signals to speech-related muscles. So far, imaging tests have not shown any significant differences between children with apraxia and those without.

However, apraxia of speech may manifest as a symptom of a larger disorder. These include autism, cerebral palsy, certain mitochondrial disorders, epilepsy, galactosemia, neuromuscular disorders, and other intellectual disabilities. Additionally, children with a family history of apraxia, learning disorders, or communication disorders may be more at risk.

Signs of Apraxia

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of apraxia manifest themselves differently at different ages. In general, however, childhood apraxia of speech is associated with delayed onset of first words, limited vocabulary (spoken or overall), and a general lessened ability to produce consonant or vowel sounds. Typically, such symptoms are noticed when the affected child is between 18 months and two years.

By the time a child is between the ages of two and four, they should be producing more fluent speech. However, children with apraxia may have vowel and consonant distortions, separate syllables in or between words, and exhibit voicing errors (using similar-sounding words like "hi" and "try" interchangeably).

Additionally, it is hard for many children with apraxia to get their jaws, lips, and tongues to the correct positions to produce a noise. This may make it troublesome for them to move on to the next sound. They may also have trouble figuring out word order.

Diagnosing and Treating Apraxia

It can be challenging to diagnose apraxia, especially since some apraxia symptoms overlap with related disorders. As such, taking your child to a qualified speech therapist is crucial in getting a correct diagnosis (and helping your child manage symptoms after).

Our team will ask about your child's medical history, family history, and noticeable speech problems. We will also take measures to rule out any other potential factors, such as muscle weakness, hearing problems, and comprehension problems. Diagnosis may necessitate a lengthy observation period, and further language testing may be necessary.

After developing a diagnosis, we will begin customizing the child's treatment plan to meet their individual needs. Children with more severe apraxia will need more frequent speech therapy, though the goal is to reduce the number of required sessions gradually. Individual therapy is typically more useful for children with apraxia than group therapy, as it gives them more one-on-one attention and time to practice.

Call Us Today

Apraxia can be stressful for both children and their parents to deal with. Our team at Small Talk Therapy Services may be able to help. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apraxia can be stressful for both children and their parents to deal with. Our team at Small Talk Therapy Services may be able to help. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is apraxia?

Apraxia is relatively rare. It is more common in boys than in girls. An estimated one to two children out of every 1,000 have apraxia of speech. However, there has been a recent uptick in apraxia diagnoses. Some studies suggest that apraxia is over diagnosed, making it even rarer than we currently believe. Other studies suggest that the recent rise in diagnosis is due to increased awareness and availability of research.

Is apraxia the same thing as aphasia?

No. Aphasia is another communication disorder that often coincides with apraxia. Children with aphasia have trouble understanding or using words. Apraxia, as mentioned before, does not necessarily affect a child's language comprehension skills.

Can apraxia be cured?

Most children will see significant improvement in symptom management with proper treatment, with some even seeing complete recovery. However, this depends on a case-by-case basis. Typically, however, apraxia is not a disorder you "grow out of," especially not without the proper treatment. Instead, symptoms will only stagnate or even get worse if left untreated.

How can I help my child manage their apraxia?

Family support can contribute significantly to symptom management. We may even assign exercises for you to practice with your child at home. Generally speaking, you can encourage your child by not pressuring them to speak and listening patiently when they do. Be positive, supportive, and kind.

How should I prepare for my child’s consultation about apraxia?

Filling out the patient information form ahead of time will allow you to make the most of your time with our team. You may also want to bring a list of all your child's medications and a copy of a recent progress report. In the time leading up to the appointment, write down any questions and any symptoms you notice your child exhibiting.

Contact Us

Small Talk Therapy Services is located at
1710 S Dairy Ashford Rd Suite 203
Houston, TX

(832) 900-1198