Childhood Apraxia of Speech
What is Apraxia?
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a nueroloigcal speech sound disorder in which precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired in the absence of nueromuscular deficits. (ASHA). In other words, your child knows what they want to say, but they can’t get the message from their brain to their mouth.
The Speech Dynamic, PLLC specializes in working with young children with apraxia of speech and their families. CAS can be hard to identify in young children due to limited verbal output. The Speech Dynamic has specialized training diagnosing and working with this population. We utilize a variety of treatment approaches for CAS, including The Kaufman Speech to Language Program, DTTC, and PROMPT, all the while ensuring therapy is engaging and meeting the needs of your individual child. We partner with you and your family throughout the therapy process and give you the tools you need to support your child in their journey.
Apraxia Therapy in Houston
We provide speech therapy for Houston families as well as comprehensive services for children with apraxia of speech and suspected childhood apraxia of speech. We pride ourselves on excellence through evidence-based practice and a nurturing and family-centered environment. We strive to empower your family and your child who is struggling to communicate.
The following are warning signs of CAS
Warning Signs in Infancy (Birth to One)
Decreased cooing or babbling.
Other may comment on what a “quiet baby” you have
May have feeding difficulties
Your baby’s first words appear ate (after 14 months) or not at all If first words to appear, they are often “easy” sounds, replaced with even easier one (ex: “I” for “hi”)
Warning Signs in Early Childhood (Age One to Three)
Understands most of what is said, but cannot verbalize well
Cannot correctly use sounds Difficulty imitating words and phrases
Messy and distracted eating
Melody of speech is affected
Struggles with “searching” for the right word (may see “groping” with their mouth)
Leave sounds out of words such as “coo-ie” for “cookie”
The longer the phrase, the more unintelligible your child is
May have developed an elaborate nonverbal communication system
Source: Leslie A. Lindsay (Speaking of Apraxia- A Parent Guide to Childhood Apraxia of Speech)
What is PROMPT Therapy?
PROMPT is an acronym for Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets. The PROMPT Therapy technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding. Therapy begins by helping patients produce specific sounds. Each sound requires different muscle contractions/retractions and placement/movement of the jaw, lips, tongue, and voice to produce. All of these things have to happen with the proper timing and sequence to produce one sound correctly. PROMPT attempts to “teach” the patient’s muscles to produce sounds correctly by stimulating all of these through touch. Find out more about PROMPT here: https://www.promptinstitute.com/default.aspx
A shy child speaks up loud and clear
At the age of 2, my son’s preschool teacher noticed he was a little behind in his speech, he was muttering in a low tone. It was hard for anyone to understand what he was trying to tell us. When I was told he needed therapy, I was a bit nervous because my son is very shy around people he is not familiar with. I was afraid the speech therapist would get nowhere with him, but boy was I wrong. By the end of his first session with Ms. Brooke my son was comfortable with her; he did not want the session to end. Ms. Brooke took the time to research new ideas and activities that would accommodate my son’s needs to help him open his mouth when speaking. She focused the entire session on making sure he practiced the ability to speak up loud and clear while still having fun and kept him engaged. He only had therapy for 5 short months; Ms. Brooke gave him the confidence he needed to speak up. He continues to ask to see Ms. Brooke, he misses her so much. She left him with such great moments and experiences that I do not think he will ever forget her.
Her gentle and compassionate approach was just the connection my son needed
My son Finnian was diagnosed with autism at age 3 and was non verbal. I remember being so scared and stressed about Finn’s future until I met his team of teachers and therapists. Miss Brooke was my son Finn’s speech therapist in his EC Pre-K classroom. She was amazing with Finn and supportive to me. Her gentle and compassionate approach was just the connection my son needed to feel safe and grow. One of my favorite qualities of Miss Brooke is her genuine enthusiasm when working with my son. I will always be grateful for her twinkling eyes and contagious smile when discussing my son’s progress and growth. Thank you Miss Brooke!
Brooke's heart is in her work, and you can tell she loves what she does
Brooke has been working with my son Colton for about a year now. She is an amazing speech path and has created a great relationship with him during that time. He is always super excited to see her, and sees the time he spends with her as play time. Yet he’s always learning. Colton has an obsession with trains, and so generally wants to show her how his trains are set up every week. Brooke manages to incorporate whatever skill they are working on into this play. Whether it was putting more than one word together, or focusing on certain sounds, or not dropping the endings of words. She also leaves us with suggestions on what to do with him over the next week to help with the goal that we are currently working on.
Brooke’s heart is in her work, and you can tell she loves what she does. If you choose to work with her, you will be happy with the results you see. Colton had had an explosion of vocabulary this year, and I know she contributed greatly to that.