Several kids are observed to be in the throes of apraxia, a neurological impairment. Brief through this section to get a broader overview.

Apraxia In Children

At some point in our lives, we have to strive till we attain perfection. For some, these challenges appear very early in life. A toddler or child battling with apraxia would be the first to agree. A neurological disorder impairs the planning, executing and sequencing motor movements of a child; thus being dreaded by many parents. ‘Verbal apraxia’ entails a plunge in the rapid sequence of muscle movements essential to produce sounds of speech. On the other hand, ‘oral apraxia’ includes impairment in non-speech functions like blowing or puckering. As threatening as it may sound to the future of an apraxic child, one mustn’t get too agitated. Professional diagnoses and reliable remedies have proven to circumvent the harsh consequences posed by the disorder. Symptoms of apraxia manifest themselves very early and it is best recommended that adequate measures are taken before the condition worsens with time.  Keep reading to expand your knowledge base on this topic.

Causes, Symptoms And Treatment Of Apraxia In Children

Apraxia of speech is essentially a motor speech disorder. An unidentified obstruction in a child’s brain hampers the messages that are vital to produce speech correctly from reaching the mouth muscles. Genetic disorders or brain injury are two of the potential causes for this physical condition.

  • Presence of vowel distortions.
  • Limited inventory of consonants and vowels.
  • Excessive use of simple syllable shapes.
  • Restrictions and gaps in sound repertoire.
  • Instances where a child has acquired some later developing sounds while missing earlier developing sounds.
  • Vocalizations contain fine speech-like melodies, but lack syllables or discernable words.
  • Words start to disappear from usage.
  • Stammering and stuttering.
  • Predictable utterances may be easier than novel utterances.
  • Articulate configurations are difficult to achieve and maintain in sentence formation.
  • Inability to lick sticky food particles off lips or from around mouth.
  • Inability to pucker to make a kiss sound or drink from a straw.
  • A single centralized vowel sound is a common indication for motor planning and motor programming difficulties.
  • Demonstrating a very limited use of syllables.
  • Major reading and spelling difficulties even at a later stage of development.
  • Difficulty in completing certain simple movement gestures, but not the ones that involve utility of more time.
  • Impaired language skills.

Apraxia of speech is definitely not an impairment that can be cured by three snaps of a doctor’s finger. However, an apraxic child can make significant progress with strong self-conviction and family support. Parents must be enthusiastic and cooperative during the entire tenure of the child’s speech therapy. Doctors need to grasp the child’s home and community environment, dislike and likes, and so on. Hence, the parents must be willing to share all sorts of information to arrive at the most effective treatment. Doctors and parents typically aim at helping an apraxic child by adopting the practices listed below.

  • Incorporate the child needed skills in a flexible, productive manner with absolute patience.
  • Be reassuring and positive.
  • Explain goals and smooth changes in therapy strategies.
  • Assure periodic observations, either on-line or via videotape.
  • Use Speech in conjunction with movement, for instance:"whee" while sliding down a slide.
  • Use Words with distinctive pitch patterns or words that can be paired with actions, for instance: uh-oh, abra-cadabra, wow, yay!
  • Consistently utilize words with strong emotional meaning.
  • Juxtapose your actions with sound effects, like making animal and vehicle noises.
  • Make short and long utterances.

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