SLP Mommy of Apraxia on World Apraxia Awareness Day:
Laura Baskall Smith, from SLP mommy of apraxia and the author of ‘Overcoming Apraxia’, is a Speech/Language Pathologist specialising in Apraxia. She is a Speaker and Mom to two exceptional children. This article details the awareness regarding childhood Apraxia of speech. The Hub Daily conducted the interview in honour of World Apraxia Awareness Day.
“I am delighted to be here today to talk about Childhood Apraxia of Speech in honour of the World Apraxia Awareness Day”
– SLP Mommy of Apraxia
A brief overview of what exactly is apraxia?
y definition, Apraxia is a neurological condition where there is a loss of ability to do activities. Furthermore, the said person is physically able and willing. There is more than one form of this condition.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a neurological disorder in which a child understands the language. The child’s brain knows what to say. However, the speech muscles do not perform because of the difficulty in directing and coordinating muscle movements. Apraxia can range from mild to severe. The symptoms and characteristics vary according to the age and severity of the condition.
At what age does apraxia start showing signs? Are there any particular symptoms that moms should look out for?
We have new research within the last few years that show early signs and symptoms of childhood apraxia speech. Parents should be aware of these symptoms. Within the first two years of a child’s life, there are some vocalisations and a babbling history. By the age of 12 months, a child may lack a consonant sound. Therefore, the children may only be cueing a lot or just speaking in vowels.
By age 16 months, they use fewer than three consonant sounds. Additionally, by the age of two years, they use fewer than five consonant sounds. Between 13 and 18 months, a child with apraxia may be using productions that are primarily vowels with little use of other syllable shapes. To put it simply, a parent reporting that their child is a tranquil baby may be characteristics of childhood apraxia.
Is Apraxia connected to other neurological disorders like autism?
Only in one way, childhood apraxia speech is a childhood neurological disorder that is lifelong, and it frequently can co-occur with autism. Therefore, it is only related in the sense that they may be comorbid. But, the two are separate disorders.
What is the difference between apraxia and dyspraxia?
Apraxia is a difficulty in verbal speech sound production, or planning and programming for speech sound production. Dyspraxia is a term mainly used in the United Kingdom for gross and fine motor coordination problems. Therefore, it does not affect speech.
What are available courses of treatment for apraxia? Does a person outgrow apraxia?
Apraxia needs to be treated using the principles of motor learning. In the research, we have some extraordinary evidence for some approaches that use and incorporate the principles of motor learning. These include Dynamic Temporal and Tactile Cueing (DTTC), Rapid Syllable Transitions (ReST), etc.
We would not consider individual outgrowing apraxia. It is a lifelong neurological disorder. However, children can and do improve with proper treatment.
What would be your message to moms with children having this condition, and how can they be more focused and trained to uplift their children more successfully?
“To moms, I would suggest remembering that you are the expert on your child even though you will encounter many experts in your life. Just know that your input is just as valuable as that of the professionals”. – SLP Mommy of Apraxia
“Apraxia is a marathon and not a sprint! and we are in it together. With proper treatment, kids do get better, and it is possible to have it resolved and overcome it.” – SLP Mommy of Apraxia.
I recommend that you find your tribe and community or groups on Facebook for families who have children with apraxia. In these communities, we uplift each other. In my community, “Slpmommyofapraxia”, this is exactly what we do.
She further adds,
“I would try to impart to mothers not to get too focused on what is going wrong. They should celebrate everything that will be going right when you get them the right treatment.” – SLP Mommy of Apraxia.
“Celebrate when they get a word right with which they have had a hard time with or when they acquire more sounds and targets. Focus on the positives!” – SLP Mommy of Apraxia
Today, we have many adults that are now inspiring others on social media like Jordan Christian, “Fighting for my voice/My Life with Verbal Apraxia”. You can reach him on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.
Hear from SLP Mommy of Apraxia in the video below: