Tuesday, May 14, 2013

1st Annual Apraxia Awareness Day

May 14th marks the first annual Apraxia Awareness Day.  I am so excited that there has been set aside a day to spread awareness about this little known disorder.  Here are a few facts about apraxia, taken from apraxiadventures.com:

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a 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. 
CAS is a low incidence disorder.  Best estimates suggest that about 1 in 1000 children (0.1%) of children are affected by CAS.
A child with CAS may also present with other motor planning deficits.  Oral apraxia indicates that a person has difficulty with volitional control of non-speech movement; ie, sticking out the tongue, puckering, smiling, blowing, licking. Limb apraxia refers to motor planning deficits relating to arms, legs, fingers, etc.  (It is suspected that my son has verbal, oral and limb apraxia and therefore goes to speech, physical and occupational therapy). 
Appropriate speech therapy for CAS is three times per week for 30-minute individual sessions.  As children improve and develop speech motor control over volitional utterances, frequency can be reduced accordingly, as long as they maintain and generalize improvements. 
Although appropriate treatment is intensive and takes place over a number of years, children with CAS are capable of making many gains and many are capable of developing intelligible speech.  Some children may have some minor differences in their speech, their intonation may not be perfect, or others may perceive some sort of accent. However, most children will speak in a way that others understand.

Happy Apraxia Awareness Day! 

1 comment:

  1. Jenn, I knew nothing about Apraxia before reading this post. I'm really sorry to hear that your family is struggling with this disorder. I know that if anyone has the patience and strength to help a child with Aspraxia make progress, it's you! I'll be thinking of you!!