Apraxia - what is it? Can speech therapy work?

Question:My son is 3 and was recently evaluated for his speech. He was given a thorough exam and found to be low in his verbal and articulate skills. Was told he needed speech therapy as well as going into a special preschool program from my school district to help. They told me he has a mild form of apraxia. I am feeling guilty about what this is and could I have prevented it? My older daughter who is 12 was an early talker and doing fine. I am expecting baby boy #3 and am worried if this is genetic or hereiditary disorder? Can it be cured with therapy?

Should not worry that much!First of all it is appropriate to be called "dispraxia" ( affects the articulation, not the language )since there is a praxis/ muscle movement control from the brain/ , not apraxia/absent of any ability to controll muscles/...Also it is a common problem with many children especially boys. It doesn't gave genetic origin!.A good SLP will be able to help and correct the difficulties , but it takes time and a consistent parent ( with the homeworks).
Don't worry, it is not uncommon problem and is usually correctable!

You did NOT cause your son's speech difficulty, nor could you have prevented it! It is not typically genetic/hereditary, either. Another point; girls are more mature neurologically than boys until they are about two. That explains why your daughter was an "early" talker.
What kind of apraxia does he have? I'm assuming it is "buccofacial", which is the type where he can't move his tongue and lips on purpose, but the vegetative functions (automatic licking, chewing, and sucking) are fine. Since he has been diagnosed with "mild" apraxia, therapy will do him wonders. It is actually very easy to treat.
Bravo to you for getting him assessed and into an appropriate program. I wish more parents were as proactive as you!
Sometimes I wonder what goes on in those school evaluation. Many of my friends children have had low evaluation on speech, writing skills, IQ all kinds of nonsense - after all, they were only 3, like your son.
These parents spent a fortune on consultants, therapists...you name it. One parent who said blow it, all children are different, if mine's a little slow, she'll catch up with time. You guessed it, the little girl grew up just fine, same as the other little children.
Apraxia is a problem with how the brain sends signals to the mouth, in simple terms. It can be helped with speech therapy, as the can help him with different strategies to improve his ability to express his thoughts. There are also studies that show that Music Therapy can help apraxic children and it can be covered in his IEP, if you ask for an assessment and the music therapist who evaluates him can show that it will help him. Music helps because it stimulates the whole brain, which can improve the overall connections within the brain. Good Luck!

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