Saturday, December 4, 2010

Talking with Apraxia...

It has been suggested in the past that Noah has verbal apraxia, also know as childhood apraxia of speech, or CAS.

Childhood apraxia of speech is a neurological speech sound disorder in which the precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired in the absence of neuromuscular deficits. The core impairment in planning and/or programming parameters of movement sequences results in errors in speech and sound production and prosody.

Basically, Noah knows what he wants to say, however as the sound travels from his brain to his mouth, it doesn't come out as intended. Also, there could be issues with the way he "hears" the sounds so when he attempts to say something it isn't with the proper sound and syllable of the word (prosody).

Today I went to an all day seminar with Lynn Carahaly, founder of The Speech EZ Apraxia Program. Wow!!! What amazing information. Typically when I attend a seminar, by lunch time I am beginning to shut down and I am mentally spent by mid afternoon. Today, I literally couldn't get enough!
8:00 - 5:30 and I was still hanging around to talk to people!

Lynn Carahaly, M.A., CCC-SLP is the owner and director of Foundations Developmental House, LLC located in both Chandler/Gilbert, Arizona. Lynn received her Bachelor's and Master's degree from The Ohio State University and is pursuing her Ph.D. in the field of Speech Language Pathology. Lynn is a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association, the National Coalition on Auditory Processing Disorders, and the Learning Disabilities Association of America.

Her area of expertise is with the treatment of Apraxia of Speech, Auditory Processing Disorders, related disorders and learning disabilities. Lynn Carahaly is a published researcher and has authored several articles on the topic of Auditory Processing Disorders and Speech and Language Disorders. She is also the developer of The Speech-EZ® Apraxia Program.

How blessed are we that she is basically in our back yard. Noah has been going to intensive speech therapy, 4x a week, since June at a very reputable place in town. I love Noah's speech therapist's, and he has been making progress. However, based on what I learned today we have been doing some things that are really detrimental for apraxia.
Ex: segmenting words... You should never segment a word to teach a child with apraxia to speak. So what we have been doing for the word "book". We would have Noah say "buh" then "oooh". With visual "prompt" motions helping him to remember the "b" and the round lips for "oooh". What we should be doing is have Noah get his lips in the rounded motion, then "pop" his lips to say the "buh" and it is natural for him to move into the "oooh", creating the flow of "booh"

I know I'm not doing this example any justice, but it sure resonated with me! So, as much as I like Noah's current therapists, I am switching to Lynn (and I can actually see her, not one of her underlings). (At SPSL where he currently is, you are evaluated by Anita Warner, the founder and big wig, but then you work with SLP's under her).

Lynn does a lot of work with motor planning issues and processing skills. She is also a certified Listening Program provider. So, she is basically incorporating all that we are doing with the NACD as well!

So, we shall see. I am hoping to begin on Monday. The downside... Noah's current therapists are about 12-15 minutes away. The new place will be about 35-40 minutes. But travel doesn't matter if my little man finds his voice! Cost, well that's another issue, but by the Grace of God my mom helps to supplement Noah's speech therapy! Thank You Grandma J-9 (Aaamaa) ;-)

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