Apraxia - What Is It and How Can I Help?
What is Apraxia?
Apraxia is when a child has difficulty making the movements to produce sounds. The child knows what he/she wants to say; however, the brains ability to tell the muscles how and when to move to form speech is interrupted. Your child needs speech therapy to learn how to plan movements and how to make the movements to produce speech. The goal of therapy is to make speech more automatic. Think of it like riding a bike, at first you have to think about all the different movements you need to make to ride the bike. Once you have practiced multiple times, you no longer need to think about what you are doing it just becomes automatic. With apraxia, the more practice with the movements needed for speech the more they become automatic and easier for the child to produce.
How Can I Help?
Simple CV, VC, CVC and CVCV words are a great place to start for kids practicing movements to create sounds and words. Kids with apraxia benefit from using all of their senses to better understand placement of sounds. Having them watch your mouth to attempt to imitate what your mouth is doing, using finger placement cues on your face to help them understand what their tongue and lips should be doing (i.e., touching lips to produce /b/ sound) and using hand movements to understand how to produce sounds (i.e., sliding hand down arm while saying /s/ to demonstrate the continuous flow of air) all help them to grasp the concepts better.
Some great resources to learn more about apraxia and for free materials to practice with your children at home can be found at these websites:
- SpeechandLanguageKids.com Go to free therapy materials / flashcards / Articulation Cards: CV, VC, CVC, CVCV
Alexis “Lexie” Jones M.A. CCC-SLP *
*If you have any concerns with your child’s speech, language, hearing and/or feeding development, please contact Sidekick Therapy Partners at (865) 693-5622. We have a team of experienced speech-language pathologists that would love to meet with you and discuss options for your child. **