How Kids in Motion can Help!
Understanding your child’s development and behaviors can be challenging and overwhelming. With many different opinions and suggestions on what your child should or shouldn’t be doing can be stressful and confusing. Although, having the proper resources and education is important to improve your knowledge on ways to help your child develop to the best of their ability and Kids in Motion is here to help.
What is Apraxia?
Apraxia is a neurological based disorder characterized by the loss of the ability to execute gestures and skilled movements even though the individual has the physical capability to perform them. Apraxia doesn’t only affect speech production. Apraxia types can be diverse characterized by difficulties with eye movements, abilities to carry out multiple sequential coordinated activities (dressing, feeding) and make fine and precise movements with arms and legs. These various apraxias may work together or alone.
What is Developmental Apraxia of Speech?
Orofacial apraxia is a speech disorder in which a child has difficulty producing sound and vowel combinations into clear words, phrases and sentences on a consistent basis. Apraxia is dissimilar to what is known as a Speech and Language Delay, as where here, a child develops skills at a much slower rate and appears to follow the distinctive pattern of speech development.
Apraxia is present at birth and usually is seen more in boys than girls. Apraxia is characteristic of decreased motor planning skills where the brain has difficulty planning and coordinating motor and muscle movements to produce intelligible words in a reproducible manner. It is not due to a paralysis or weakness of the oral/speech muscles. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but they are unable to sequence the sounds into understandable words.
Characteristics of Apraxia of Speech:
-A decrease in the production and synthesis of consonant and vowel combinations (VC/CV/CVCV) from syllables up to multi-syllable words.
-Sounds may be deleted, omitted and substituted during speech production.
-Child has difficulty transferring one sound production to another (ma/mama/mommy) with increased word complexity.
-More complex familiar words are more intelligible than unfamiliar words. For example, a child enjoys crackers and always requests them (repetition) however unable to pronounce a much easier word, like bubbles.
-The child will increase correct production of words at the imitative level rather than in spontaneous speech.
-The child benefits from a Motor Speech Hierarchical (syllable repetition) Approach in comparison to a Traditional Speech Approach (isolated sounds).
The key to success is REPETITION, REPETITION, REPETITION of target sound combinations as this improves the neurological pathways for motor planning and improves overall verbal intelligibility. Give your words some excitement! Emphasize sounds at the beginning or end of words. Again, your goal is to get your child to pay attention and imitate. Make sound effects when reading books or playing with toys. Everyone can make mooing and airplane sounds! Change your volume and pitch. Encourage imitation with words, songs and mouth movements. We are always here to help when you need it.
A recommendation of an intensive speech therapeutic program would be a minimum of 2 times per week with targeted drills reviewed at home on a daily basis. The more REPETITION, the more success the child will have!
Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy clinic provides services in all areas from speech, occupational, and physical therapy to address the signs/symptoms stated above related to Apraxia.
Speech therapy will help improve your child’s communication skills by learning verbal and/or nonverbal skills. A speech therapist will engage your child in a variety of auditory and verbal stimuli such as story books, picture cards, interactive games, actual objects, etc. using different approaches and techniques to improve language skills. A speech therapist can also teach the use of an augmentative communication devices, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and American Sign Language. These devices and techniques can improve communication by using pictures and symbols to ask and answer questions when interacting with others.
Occupational therapy will use creative therapeutic activities to increase independence and success in ADL, fine motor, visual motor, and sensory processing skills. Occupational therapist will introduce innovative methods to improve self-dressing, self-hygiene and self-feeding skills. Your child will engage in client centered activities to increase strength and coordination/control in hands and upper extremities to complete age appropriate fine motor and visual motor skills with greater success. Occupational therapist will demonstrate and educate family on variety of sensory diet strategies specific for your child’s needs to improve regulation to perform optimally in everyday activities.
Physical therapy will help improve your child’s strength, coordination, and balance through therapeutic exercise and activities to increase success in age appropriate gross motor skills. Child will also engage in tasks such as obstacle courses incorporating variety of gym equipment to improve motor planning skills. Physical therapist may target gait retraining if toe-walking is present by working on your child’s range of motion, strengthening and incorporating different sensory techniques. Consultation with an orthotist can also be provided if needed.
Still have questions and concerns?
We are committed to helping children of all abilities achieve and live their full potential. With experienced and compassionate Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists and four locations to serve you, we feel confident that you will be more than satisfied with the care and support your child receives.
Check out our free Interactive Online Screener – once completed, it will respond with ideas to help your child in the areas you specify they might be having trouble with or contact us at 248-684-9610.