Apraxia

Apraxia of speech is the inability to make the words and sounds come out, due to a deficit with the brain’s ability to move the body parts or coordinate movements. This does not occur due to muscle weakness or paralysis. The individual knows what he/she wants to communicate, but the sounds and words just do not come out right. Errors are very inconsistent.

Signs or Symptoms of Speech Apraxia

A Very Young Child

  • Does not coo or babble as an infant
  • First words are late, and they may be missing sounds
  • Only a few different consonant and vowel sounds
  • Problems combining sounds; may show long pauses between sounds
  • Simplifies words by replacing difficult sounds with easier ones or by deleting difficult sounds (although all children do this, the child with apraxia of speech does so more often)
  • May have problems eating

An Older Child

  • Makes inconsistent sound errors that are not the result of immaturity
  • Can understand language much better than he or she can talk
  • Has difficulty imitating speech, but imitated speech is more clear than spontaneous speech
  • May appear to be groping when attempting to produce sounds or to coordinate the lips, tongue, and jaw for purposeful movement
  • Has more difficulty saying longer words or phrases clearly than shorter ones
  • Appears to have more difficulty when he or she is anxious
  • Is hard to understand, especially for an unfamiliar listener
  • Sounds choppy, monotonous, or stresses the wrong syllable or word

Potential Other Problems

  • Delayed language development
  • Other expressive language problems like word order confusions and word recall
  • Difficulties with fine motor movement/coordination
  • Over sensitive (hypersensitive) or under sensitive (hyposensitive) in their mouths (e.g., may not like toothbrushing or crunchy foods, may not be able to identify an object in their mouth through touch)
  • Children with CAS or other speech problems may have problems when learning to read, spell, and write

Resources (Not an exhaustive list; does not imply endorsement)

“My son Caleb attended Autumn Oaks for about two years because he had a speech delay. During his time there his speech and pronunciation improved greatly. Mrs. Eshita (our speech pathologist) is so encouraging, patient and supportive. The entire staff is friendly and great to work with. We cannot thank Autumn Oaks enough for helping our son!!”

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“My daughter has been seeing her speech therapist, Vilma Sandoval, for just a few months now and we have already seen such progress. My daughter loves going and feels so comfortable and welcomed there. The entire staff has always been very professional and kind. I highly recommend Autumn Oaks to anyone looking for a place to receive care.”

“My son Caleb attended Autumn Oaks for about two years because he had a speech delay. During his time there his speech and pronunciation improved greatly. Mrs. Eshita (our speech pathologist) is so encouraging, patient and supportive. The entire staff is friendly and great to work with. We cannot thank Autumn Oaks enough for helping our son!!”