Childhood Apraxia of Speech

childhood apraxia of speech therapy

What is Apraxia?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a nueoloigcal 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.

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)

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, ReST, 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. 

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.

Dolores S.

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