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information about communication impairments, see Cherab's partner informational site, Speechville
more about The Late Talker, a new book for families of children
who are late to talk.
by Lisa Geng
of us hear the same thing "just a late talker" Which
may be the case. However early intervention therapy is harmless
-and it may stimulate your child to speak even sooner. If your child
begins to speak fluently after two sessions -no more therapy! If
your child does have a speech disorder vs a simple delay in speech however
-Early Intervention not only provides the child the best chance -it also
could help prevent secondary behavioral or self esteem problems due to
frustrations from not being understood, or from being teased. And
what if your late talker who is "so bright" and passes all developmental
milestones on time or early ends up being apraxic? Apraxia, you
may think...never heard of it -what are the odds?!
every late talker with a speech delay or disorder has apraxia -however
apraxia is not rare; many people just do not know the name or symptoms
yet. The problem with this is that children with apraxia benefit greatly
from early intervention. Apraxia does NOT self-resolve. The prognosis
for a child with severe apraxia to one day speak like everyone else is
greater for a child who receives a diagnosis and appropriate therapy at
3, than that of a child who first receives a diagnosis and appropriate
therapy at 6. So why are some children with apraxia diagnosed after early
to Dr. Diane Paul-Brown, director of clinical issues in speech-language
pathology for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association in Rockville,
Maryland, "We now know the earlier the intervention, the better
the brain can reorganize." Today, parents are generally
told to look for signs of delay early, even in a baby's first year, and
seek help. No one should assume that a silent 2-year-old is a budding
genius; silence may be a sign of hearing loss or a neurological disorder.
new advice is based in part on studies showing that children with speech
impairments are more likely to have reading and social problems later.
Working with very young children, with malleable brain connections, may
rewire defective connections. From the book Developmental Apraxia
of Speech, by Hall, Jordan and Robin, from"Working with Preschoolers
Exhibiting DAS (Developmental Apraxia of Speech)," page 174:
stated that with her population of nonverbal clients with apraxia, 'children
who were younger when we began working with them progressed more rapidly' (p. 6). Our experience has been that the overall outcome has been
best for those children with DAS who were identified as possibly exhibiting
DAS and received services as very young children..."
parent with a non verbal child may search on the internet under the key
words "late talker", "non verbal", "speech delay" or "delayed
speech", but unless they know the disorder called apraxia, they
will not search under "apraxia" on the internet. Even worse,
apraxia also goes by a bunch of other names that are used interchangeably,
such as "dyspraxia," "DAS," "motor planning disorder," etc. Additionally, the words "neurologically
based" can be misleading to parents; most children with apraxia have above
average intelligence, and parents may not believe that their non-verbal
child who is "SO" intelligent can have a condition that may be neurologically
based. In fact, nobody knows for
sure where apraxia comes from. Hopefully
as awareness is raised, more research will be done to find out more about
this frustrating and confusing condition called apraxia.
course there are other factors to consider, aside from the age of identification,
when making a prognosis of an apraxic child's future success at communicating
verbally. These include the severity of the apraxia, frequency and appropriateness
of therapy, attention level of the child, and parental involvement.
Seek private evaluations from an ASHA certified SLP (Speech Language
Pathologist) as well as medical evaluations from a neurologist and a developmental
pediatrician who are knowledgeable about apraxia as well as other disorders.
Bring these evaluations to your child's school with the guideline at this
link, which outlines speech therapy services a child should have in school.
out more about the importance of early intervention at Cherab's partner Speechville.com!
The Cherab Foundation is a world-wide nonprofit organization working to improve the communication skills and education of all children with speech and language delays and disorders. Our area of emphasis is verbal and oral apraxia, severe neurologically-based speech and language disorders that hinder children's ability to speak.
The Cherab Foundation is committed to assisting with the development of new therapeutic approaches, preventions and cures to neurologically-based speech disorders. We bring together parents and medical, research, and educational professionals. Please join us and help to give our children a smile and a voice.
Communication Help, Education, Research, Apraxia Base
P.O. Box 8524 PSL, Florida 34952-8524
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Last Update: June 18, 2006