Apraxia (otherwise known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech — CAS) is a motor planning deficit, specifically with producing speech, that makes it difficult to understand a child’s speech. The child is unable to coordinate the complex movements required for the mouth to form each sound as well as the movements between sounds that enable him/her to produce words, sentences, and phrases.
What are the signs of apraxia?
The child attempts to communicate; however, his/her speech is very difficult to understand and he/she appears to have extreme difficulty sequencing between speech sounds. An example of this is a child who might only produce a consonant as an approximation for a word (e.g., “p” for “please” or “t” for “want”) or one who might use a limited variety of words for all communicative purposes.
How Can We Help?
The specialists at Jodie K. Schuller & Associates are professional speech and language therapists, many with over 25 years of experience in communicative disorders. Licensed by the state of California as speech-language pathologists, our therapists have also completed advanced training in specific techniques to enhance oral and written communication. Therapists have been trained to help children with social challenges using Michele Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking Curriculum. To help those with delayed speech development, therapists have taken advanced training in the Talk Tools approach to oral motor therapy and the Cycles approach to phonology. Having attended the Childhood Apraxia (CASANA) Conference, therapists have been trained to use the Kaufman, Strand and Prompt methodologies, among others, to help those with apraxia of speech. Therapists have studied the various methodologies recommended to treat children on the autism spectrum including PECS and Floortime. They are equipped to help nonverbal children using American Sign Language (ASL) and Alternative and Augmentative (AAC) devices. To facilitate the development of reading and written language development, therapists have attended training programs from coast to coast including post-graduate courses offered by the Landmark School of Education, the Wilson Reading System (based on Orton Gillingham) and the complete range of programs developed by Lindamood Bell including LIPS, Visualizing and Verbalizing, On Cloud 9 Math and Seeing Stars. Therapists have also been certified by the International Association of Orofacial Myology (IAOM) to diagnose and treat breathing and swallowing problems related to unhealthy oral resting postures, sucking habits and tongue thrust.