This section of my blog is dedicated to Childhood Apraxia of Speech. My intent is to raise awareness and share resources for families with affected loved ones. The majority of the play activities I post can be enjoyed by any child – but the truth is, I have been intentional in sharing activities that help kids with Apraxia develop skills such as fine motor and bilateral coordination (among others) while also promoting language. Children with Apraxia hold a special place in my heart. I hope this experience will be helpful to you or someone you know.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is rare, occurring in every 1 or 2 :1000 children.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurological motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems 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 his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words. *Source
Kids with Apraxia endure an incredible and lengthy struggle to do the one thing that comes effortlessly to most children: speak.
Want to learn more about Apraxia? Check out the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA)
Following is an example of a real mom’s experience with CAS: “We are almost 2 years into our journey with Apraxia. It’s been emotional, confusing, even frustrating at times. But it has also made the tiniest of milestones a really big deal! Well something finally happened. Something that I’ve been longing to hear for almost 4 years: My son (3 1/2) now calls me “Mommy”. For the past year, my name has been “gah-eee”, “wah-yee”, “wom-bee”, “wommy”… But finally FINALLY, my name is MOMMY!! *insert cartwheels and confetti*”
Read about my journey and the 7 Things I’ve Learned While Having a Child with Apraxia
Find another mom’s perspective of fighting Apraxia here. “Come hell, high water, or kindergarten…” ❤
Check out this Apraxia explanation from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Here’s what happened when a mom asked Ronda Rousey if she had Apraxia of Speech
- Continue to love, support, and encourage them. Be their biggest advocate and their loudest cheerleader! Celebrate each milestone, no matter how big or small.
- Enlist the services of a qualified Speech Language Pathologist who has experience with Apraxia. The key word here is EXPERIENCE. What makes a huge difference for children with Apraxia is a SLP who is knowledgeable, up do date on research, and has a track record of helping other children with Apraxia find success. It may take some searching, but qualified SLPs are out there and are absolutely worth it!
- Remember, your child is an individual. If you have seen one child with Apraxia, you have seen one child with Apraxia. Each child has their own unique strengths, needs, and journey. Try not to get caught up in someone else’s milestones or rate of acquisition.
- Find opportunities to incorporate and practice language at home and in the community. Here are some resources to help get you started:
Apraxia Resource List:
Resources for Concerned Parents – 17 resources that will help you learn about Apraxia and its characteristics
Speechchick.com offers many freebies, products, and blog posts created by a Speech Language Pathologist. Check out the section dedicated to Apraxia. My personal favorite is the free Visual Cues Flipbook – Download it here.
FREE iPad Apps!– Here is a list of iPad apps to help you child with speech and language. There is no substitute for a qualified SLP with experience with Apraxia, but these apps might make practicing a little more fun!
SmallTalk Phonemes – This app provides a series of speech-exercise videos, each illustrating the tongue and lip movements necessary to produce each of the phonemes in the English language. Because each exercise comes as an individual video, you can focus on just the phonemes you want to practice and repeat them as many times as you like.
These iPad apps are not free, but certainly worth every penny:
Articulation Station – Created by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist for parents, SLPs and other educators to help work with children and adults with speech sound delays. When you first download Articulation Station you will receive the entire P sound program to try for free!
Apps for Apraxia Kids – iPad apps for speech practice.
Writing Wizard – Many children with Apraxia also experience difficulty with fine motor skills, which directly affects their ability to write. Writing Wizard is designed to help every child learn how to trace letters, numbers and words through a fun system carefully designed to maintain motivation.
YouTube videos – Music makes everything fun!
- Phonics Song 2
- The Animal Sounds Song
- ABC Mouse YouTube Channel – Alphabet Songs (A-Z) focusing on Phonics, and Vocabulary; Classic and Original Children’s Songs
Repetitive Books – Here is a list of suggested books that help as effective therapeutic tools for children with CAS.
Additional favorites include:
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
Go Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
Hand Hand Fingers Thumb by Al Perkins
Top 10 Wordless Picture Books for SLPs – Promote conversation and opportunities to use language with these favorites!
Keep checking back for more tools, resources, and information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Thanks for reading!