May is Apraxia Awareness Month
According to Apraxia Kids, for the first time, the entire month of May has been designated Apraxia Awareness Month and corresponds with May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder in which a child knows what they would like to say but has difficulty sending the message from their brain to their mouth. It is a significant problem with motor planning and coordination of the lips, tongue, jaw and palate to produce intelligible speech. Parents of children with childhood apraxia of speech commonly say things like, “No one can understand my son,” “It looks like he is trying to say the word, but can’t get it out,” and “He said that word one time, and then I never heard it again.” Our goal this month, is to educate families about apraxia, spread awareness, and provide resources that may be helpful for children struggling with apraxia.
A quote from Apraxia Kids: “The more people that know and understand Apraxia, the more support children and families will have. Early intervention is crucial. A team supporting a child with Apraxia is crucial. I’ve learned along the way, we don’t know what we don’t know. Let’s help people know about Apraxia!”
What are the signs of apraxia?
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 2007), the three most common features in children with apraxia of speech are:
- Inconsistent errors on consonants and vowels in repeated productions of syllables or words (for example, a child says the same word differently each time he tries to produce it).
- Difficulty producing longer, more complex words and phrases.
- Inappropriate intonation and stress in word/phrase production (for example, difficulty with the timing, rhythm and flow of speech).
Apraxia and PROMPT
PROMPT (Prompting for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a multifaceted approach used to treat a variety of speech production disorders such as expressive language, stuttering, motor planning, articulation/phonology, and auditory processing as well as cognitive or global delays. PROMPT is a highly successful treatment method for children with motor speech disorders such as apraxia. During PROMPT, a speech-language pathologist manually guides a patient’s jaw, lips, vocal folds, and tongue by targeting certain words, phrases, or sentences. They use touch cues to shape and support the proper movements. In doing so, the therapist helps the patient produce phonemes, or the smallest units of sound that distinguish one word from another. Together, the therapist and child progress through different sounds at a steady pace, moving to new sounds only when the patient is ready. The child learns through assistance and repetition to plan, organize, and create steadily more advanced vocal sounds. For more information about PROMPT, watch this quick video.
Carolina Therapy Connection is now using PROMPT
To be certified in the PROMPT method, a speech-language pathologist attends PROMPT training courses and meets a number of certification requirements established by the PROMPT Institute. One of our amazing Speech-Language Pathologists at Carolina Therapy Connection, Lindsey Grant, is now certified in PROMPT! Lindsay graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 from East Carolina University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She then continued at East Carolina University, receiving her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorder in 2014. While completing her Master’s degree, she completed a research project on the relationship between dyslexia and language. Lindsay has experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings including school, home, daycare, and clinic. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, where she received her Certificate of Clinical Competence. She is also a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Lindsay has a passion of helping children with apraxia of speech make significant improvements to their speech and communication skills.
If you have any questions about your child’s speech development, apraxia or PROMPT, call our clinic at 252-341-9944!