Overlapping Stages of Vocal Development

By Pam Marshalla

Q: Your book, Apraxia Uncovered, describes seven stages of vocal development. If my son can only do 80% of Stage One, should I proceed with Stage Two? Or do I wait for him to be able to do 100% of Stage One before moving on to Stage Two, even though he is able to do some of the items already in Stage Two?

The stages overlap. Many children learn a little bit of this and that from each stage without much rhyme or reason because kids with speech-language impairment don’t usually follow the developmental process in lock-step fashion. Use this model as a way to think through the things your child may need to learn in order to beef up his skills. Don’t ever feel that he has to do all the skills or to do them in the order in which they are set up. Be flexible. Allow your child to show you what he is ready for next, and follow his lead. Do this as you progress through each step along the way.

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