We treat all problems affecting; speech, language, communication, eating & drinking.

Childhood apraxia of speech

Childhood apraxia of speech is a disorder which affects a child's ability to plan and produce movement needed for speech production. It is therefore a motor speech disorder. Apraxia of speech is also known as verbal dyspraxia, as well as verbal or developmental apraxia.

What is childhood apraxia of speech?

Childhood apraxia of speech is a disorder of planning and production of speech. It is a motor speech disorder and leads to difficulty with movement of the tongue, lips, jaw and soft palate. The level of severity will depend upon the individual.

What different types of apraxia are there?

There are two main categories of apraxia of speech:

Acquired apraxia

This is acquired at any age and usually occurs in adults. It occurs after damage to the brain, for example after a stroke or brain injury. It may occur in conjunction with muscle weakness and will cause language difficulties due to the nerve damage.

Developmental apraxia

Developmental apraxia is present from birth and can be a result of lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth. Individuals may have associated disabilities or disorders as well as apraxia of speech.

What causes apraxia?

Apraxia of speech is a neurological speech disorder. This means the brain is not functioning as it should be. There is no exact cause and symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual. Some children acquire apraxia after being starved of oxygen during birth.

Speech and language therapy for apraxia of speech

Speech and language therapy for apraxia of speech can be extremely beneficial and will help the individual to become more intelligible.

Speech and language therapists will have various methods of treatment available and will assess each individual and decide upon the best course of treatment depending upon the assessment findings. Progress will be tracked and treatment changed if necessary to maximise progress. The speech and language therapist may feel it is necessary to introduce other forms of communication, such as sign language or AAC device use. This will be discussed with the client and any training needed both at home and school will be offered to the client, family and teachers.

Benefits of speech and language therapy for childhood apraxia

Speech and language therapy for apraxia of speech is highly beneficial for children. Some of these benefits may include:

  • Increased intelligibility of speech
  • Increased confidence
  • Raised self esteem
  • Alternative communication method used
  • Raised levels of motivation
  • Increased communication with friends and family

How do I arrange an appointment with a speech and language therapist for apraxia?

To arrange an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists at Manchester SLT, or if you would like more information about childhood apraxia of speech, please contact us by emailing: info@manchesterslt.co.uk.

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