Many with Autism Have Oral Apraxia, But What Is It, Exactly?
Luckily, this disorder is treatable through therapy. The earlier parents and doctors catch the issue, the more that can be done to help children develop the ability to speak, smile, stick their tongues out, and more before they reach adolescence.
A typical treatment plan for a child with oral apraxia involves one-on-one practice with a speech therapist three to five times a week, possibly less as the child’s speech improves. When he or she is able to make full sentences, group sessions may be beneficial.
In cases where a child, or even an adult, is not very responsive to therapy or needs another means of communication while in therapy, alternative or augmentative communication may be used. This generally takes the form of sign language or technology such as a computer or an iPad app. Most children naturally use these systems less as they begin to learn to talk more without them.
If you believe your child or someone else close to you suffers from oral apraxia, you can talk to your doctor or a speech language therapist about the screening options available. Here are some places you can reach out to for more help:
- your state’s early intervention program (FREE, federally funded)
- your school district’s preschool disabled program (FREE, federally funded)
- the American Speech Language-Hearing Association in Rockville, Maryland, for a list of certified clinicians near you