As we discussed in an earlier blog, Apraxia of speech in children, or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder where the child has a problem saying sounds, syllables and words. She knows what she wants to say, but her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. Many children are able to hear the words, and are able to understand what they mean, but they can’t turn what they hear into the fine-motor skill of combining consonants and vowels to form words. Fortunately, apraxia of speech in children is usually treatable with appropriate techniques.
We’ve been discussing Apraxia of Speech in Children this month. If your child is exhibiting any of the characteristics associated with Apraxia of Speech, also known as developmental (DAS) or childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), you will need to make an appointment with a speech language pathologist. Because apraxia of speech is a communication disorder, the most qualified professional to help diagnose and treat your child is an SLP. While your pediatrician may help with other medical issues related to apraxia of speech, speech language pathologists have undergone extensive study and certification to accurately evaluate and treat speech disorders.
You have determined that your child has more than just a speech delay, now what? How do you determine what kind of speech disorder your child has and more importantly, what do you do about it? We have listed below five common speech disorders in children. Of course, we always recommend a visit to your pediatrician if you feel your child has any of these symptoms, and an appointment with an SLP may be necessary to begin an effective speech therapy treatment plan.
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder, affecting the ability of children to produce the oral movements and vocal sounds needed for speech that others can clearly understand. There is a coordination required of the lips, tongue, facial muscles, and vocal folds in order for the intended sounds to be produced. Think of it like one of the most intricate, behind the scenes performances you can imagine. And now think of a child with apraxia who struggles because all of those aspects that must work together behind the scenes have lost their communication links.
It is the goal of speech therapy to create those links to be strong enough to reach the goal – clarity of speech. A child with apraxia usually requires targeted and sometimes intense speech therapy in order to reach these goals. But what can parents do at home to support these goals, and make it fun in the process? The first step is to work with the SLP to support those efforts, but there are also some easy ways to incorporate effective games for kids with apraxia. Continue reading
Speech therapy operates on a continuum. For most aspects of speech and language, children might master one aspect before moving to another. When children master single syllables, the next step is two then three and so forth. Multisyllabic words in speech therapy can have many challenges for children with articulation disorders and apraxia. Similarly, finding and making motivating materials can be equally frustrating for SLPs. Try these cool tools, tips and word lists.