Articulation & Apraxia
Children with Articulation and/or Phonological Disorders benefit from traditional methods of treatment to teach them how to correctly produce specific sounds. They may mispronounce just a few sounds, or they may have difficulty being understood in general.
Oral, verbal, and motor apraxia may present differently from child to child. Children can also present with a combination of oral-motor difficulties, articulation difficulties, and Apraxia. It is important to have an experienced Speech-Language Pathologist and/or Occupational Therapist help to determine the cause(s) of your child’s difficulty.
Signs of Articulation/Phonological Disorders
- Errors are predictable and follow patterns
- Difficult sounds are substituted with simpler sounds (e.g., /s/ for /sh/)
- May produce a variety of sounds, with errors that make speech sound “immature”
- Errors are typically consistent as length of utterance increases
- Minimal vowel distortions
- No difference is how speech is produced based on situation (e.g., automatic speech vs. on demand)
- Rate, rythym, and stress are typically not affected
- Omissions are more likely to happen in the final position than initial position
Signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- First words produced after delay, but these words are missing sounds
- Only produces a few sounds
- Inconsistent sound errors
- Language comprehension better than production
- Difficulty imitating speech of others or does not imitate
- Difficulty positioning mouth movements when attemtping to produce sounds or to coordinate the lips, tongue, and jaw for purposeful movement
- More difficulty saying longer phrases than shorter ones
- Well-rehearsed, “automatic speech” is easiest to produce, errors occur with “on demand” speech (e.g., answering a direct question)
- Rate, rythym, and stress of speech are affected, causing reduced inflection
- Omissions tend to happen in the initial and final positions
Other Indicators of Childhood Apraxia of Speech
Has trouble throwing a ball
More cautiout to try new motor activities
Finds it difficult to jump, hop, and/or skip
Is slower to learn to ride a bike
Has difficulty playing sports with peers
How We Can Help with Our Childhood Apraxia of Speech Treatment
We at SPS have developed innovative models to address dyspraxia. After we pinpoint the root causes of your child’s difficulty, we work with you to design the most effective, efficient therapeutic program. Intervention for the child diagnosed with developmental Apraxia of speech often focuses on improving the planning, sequencing, and coordination of motor movements for speech production. The speech-language pathologist uses tactile, auditory, and visual feedback to help the brain tell the speech muscles what to do. With this feedback, the child repeats syllables, words, sentences, and longer utterances to improve muscle coordination and sequencing for speech.
Sometimes individual Speech-Language Therapy and/or Occupational Therapy (if the child has motor dyspraxia) is most successful. However, other intervention models such as Speech-Language and Occupational Co-Treatment is the preferred approach to yield the most success. Ultimately, we want your child to have fun and enjoy the success of developing new skills.
Often, it’s the ‘right’ combination of therapy and support programming at the ‘right’ time that is most effective. As your child grows and increases her skills, we at SPS, adjust our therapeutic programming to provide the ‘right’ challenge for continued success.