This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Message to a Panicked Parent With Apraxic Child
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I have a 5-year-old boy suffering with a bad case of verbal apraxia coupled with an SI disorder. I am desperate for intensive PROMPT and oral motor treatment for my boy. Its heart breaking to watch him try so hard and fail to speak. Please help us.
You sound like you are panicking — DON’T.
You sound like you think that PROMPT and ORAL MOTOR are the only solutions — THEY AREN’T.
There are as many ways of helping children speak better as there are therapists doing this work.
Each SLP has his or her own way of going about it.
There are no solutions, magic tricks, or easy answers.
There only is persistent work over time.
Your boy will develop at his own pace with the careful guidance of an experienced SLP.
Take a breath and take your time.
This will not be fixed tomorrow.
Your boy may have a lifelong problem with speech, or he may be able to conquer it with help.
Just see that he gets persistent treatment over time.
Also – make sure you understand his cognitive/intellectual skills.
Many diagnoses of “apraxia” turn out to be low cognitive skills. Ask your team to help you understand this.
Please write again with more questions, I would be glad to help you think through this.