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Worth Repeating: Speech-Based Activities for Kids with Apraxia

 A lot of parents ask, “How can I help my child with apraxia?”  In fact, it may very well be the number one question I get after “What is apraxia, anyway?”  First things first, childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), is a neurologically-based motor speech disorder in which children know what they want to say, yet they have a difficult time coordinating their thoughts with the complex movements related to speech.  It is a serious childhood speech disorder best remediated by frequent and intense speech therapy conducted by a trained speech-language pathologist (SLP).  CAS can occur alone or with other learning disabilities, Down syndrome, or autism to name a few.
But you just want to know what you can do at home to help your child?
There are a few things you need to keep in mind as your “golden rules” in working with your child with CAS:   

  • Have your child repeat, repeat, repeat! Movement repetitions build strong motor planning/programming/gestures. Can you say that again?
  • Provide lots of opportunities throughout the day to get your child to talk or vocalize–about anything. Your child will begin to see that communication is indeed a fun part of life.
  • Be goofy and funny. If you are relaxed and your child is relaxed, words will come easier.
  • Make talking and speech practice more about your lifestyle and less about “sit and speak” time.

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