Monday, November 30, 2015

After the Diagnosis: Coming to Terms with Apraxia

Speaking seems so natural when everything is working properly, but it's a confusing battle for children struggling with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, otherwise known as CAS. In order to produce words that are easily understood by other people, you must manipulate many parts of the body, including:


Some children are unable to perform the manipulations needed to produce sounds that others will recognize as words. Parents and close family members may understand a child with apraxia because they've been listening to the child speak throughout their life, but speech therapy is needed to ensure that the child learns to speak clearly for improved communication with the rest of the world.

Parents Focus on the Small Successes

It is difficult to hear the term "apraxia" in relation to your child, but this diagnosis means that you've discovered the problem and can now focus on therapeutic intervention. Each child will progress at different rates, so focus on the small accomplishments that their child enjoys from therapy. One new word at a time, you will hear your child's pronunciation and vocabulary improve gradually over time. Before you know it, you will find yourself immersed in meaningful conversations without struggling to make sense of your child's words.

You may think that those well-spoken conversations are impossible, but with routine therapy and lots of practice, many children do excel at verbal communication. Remember, children with apraxia can understand what others are saying clearly, and your child will benefit from daily conversation with loved ones. You play a critical role in your little one's ability to master the spoken word, so use your own voice to help them find their own.