We are learning about new things every day as parents. Twinmom.com decided to pick the brain of Kristen Bellom, who is the CEO and Founder of NYTT (New York Therapy Team). She holds a doctorate of clinical science in speech-language pathology, a certificate of clinical competence (CCC-SLP) through American Speech-Hearing Association and also a teacher’s license for students with speech and language disabilities (TSSLD). So ya, She is pretty smart… and clearly the best person to speak to about Apraxia and Speech.
Are there early signs of Apraxia? If so, what are they?
The following are some signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech, however, a full list can be viewed at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/ChildhoodApraxia/
- Makes inconsistent sound errors
- Can understand language much better than he or she can talk
- Has difficulty imitating speech
- May sound choppy or monotone
- May appear to be groping/struggling to make sounds
- Has more difficulty saying longer words or phrases clearly than shorter ones.
Is Apraxia something that can/will go away, or is it a life long challenge?
Luckily, with the help of a trained speech-language pathologist, CAS can be worked on through intensive and focused therapy. Depending on the severity, the challenges may be completely resolved while other children may experience life-long difficulties.
What is PROMPT?
PROMPT stands for “ Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets”. Basically, this is a program that requires tactile (or “touch” cues) on the child’s face/muscles to provide input for producing sounds. This method can be used for a variety of disorders (not just CAS!) including articulation!!
How does Prompt Help Apraxia?
PROMPT allows for the child to “feel” how to make the sound, rather than just listening to or seeing a model as in traditional therapy. Children with CAS will need this type of input (given repetitiously) in order to facilitate progress.
Above is an example of a PROMPT tactile cue to help the child produce the /k/ or /g/ sound. By touching under her chin (in a very specific location-on a muscle) the child will feel her tongue elevate and help her to achieve independently.
Do you have any advice for parents hearing the “apraxia” diagnosis for the first time: where to turn, where to begin.
Yes, be sure to get second opinions and do your own research! Then, locate a qualified and trained speech-language pathologist (consider them being PROMPT) trained, so that your child’s therapy program is in the best hands. It’s important to understand that Rome wasn’t built in a day! Also, it is important to understand that CASis just a diagnosis, and doesn’t define your child…with hard work and the correct therapeutic intervention, your child will succeed!
NYTT specializes in treating individuals with a variety of disorders, including Apraxia and Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). According to ASHA, Childhood Apraxia of Speech is described as “a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. However, the child has difficulty planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.”
To learn more about New York Therapy Team, contact (914) 236-0208 or e-mail NewYorkTherapyTeam@gmail.com for a free consultation! Also, visit their social media websites at: