SPEECH THERAPY CHILD/ADULT APRAXIA
Speech therapy is not only for children, but adults may also have issues with their speech. Some may have had speech disorders since childhood while others have developed speech disorders after a head injury or a stroke.
What is apraxia of speech?
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. The messages from the brain to the mouth are disrupted, and the person cannot move his or her lips or tongue to the right place to say sounds correctly, even though the muscles are not weak. The severity of apraxia in adults depends on the nature of the brain damage.mage. Apraxia can occur in conjunction with dysarthria, which happens when the muscles of the mouth become weakened and it then affects speech production. It can also occur in conjunction with aphasia, which happens when there has been some neurological damage. Speech apraxia in adults is also known as acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, and dyspraxia.
What are some signs or symptoms of apraxia of speech?
Individuals with apraxia of speech know what words they want to say, but their brains have difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say all the sounds in the words. Because of this they may say something that is completely different or may even make up some other word. They often recognize their error and try again—sometimes getting it right, but sometimes saying something else entirely. This can be very frustrating for the individual.
Individuals with apraxia may demonstrate:
•difficulty imitating and producing speech sounds
•inconsistent speech errors;
•groping of the tongue and lips to make specific sounds and words;
•slow speech rate;
•impaired rhythm of speech;
•better automatic speech than purposeful speech, like saying “hey.”
•inability to produce any sound at all in severe cases.
What treatments are available to people with apraxia of speech?
A speech therapist can work with these individuals to help improve their speaking abilities and their overall communication skills. The focus of intervention and speech therapy for children and adults is on improving the planning, sequencing, and coordination of muscle movements for speech production. The speech therapist often helps individuals to retrain to produce sounds correctly and help to sequence sounds into words. Exercises are used to allow the person to repeat sounds over and over and to practice correct mouth movements for sounds. The person with apraxia of speech may need to slow their speech rate and work on pacing their speech so they can produce the proper sounds.