Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Apraxia Issues

Well, I haven't kept this blog updated as often as I'd like, but so be gets busy sometimes :).

On the ES listserv, we've been discussing Apraxia in DS. How it's so common and very often times misdiagnosed. I thought I would put up an email I wrote in reply to one of the mom's with the symptoms of Apraxia that O has. If anyone has any questions regarding Apraxia, feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

I'll add a short definition of Apraxia from Libby Kumin's article, 

"Although many children with Down syndrome show characteristics of DAS, it is a term that has not been used to describe the speech difficulties experienced by children with Down syndrome. DAS describes difficulty in voluntarily programming, combining, organizing, sequencing and producing consonant vowel combinations. DAS is a descriptive label used when a child's speech difficulty is due to planning the motor movements and sequences of sounds for speech."

Libby Kumin's article on Apraxia in DS is very helpful and easy to read: I'll quote some of the symptoms she has listed and explain where O fits in that ....
"# Struggling or groping when speaking or trying to speak. He seems to be working hard to talk, but the correct sounds are not coming out."
---O: This is true for probably about 50% of what O says. He talks a mile a minute with us all and says so much. But, most of the time the words are not said how they truly are supposed to be pronounced or said. There are a handful of words that he can say clearly with NO problems at all, but not every word is like that.
"# Inconsistency in sound and speech production. One time, he can say a sound or a word clearly, but at other times he has great difficulty with the same sound or word."
----O: This is very true for him also, but again not 100% of the time. Like when he first started saying one of our friend's names - Teresa - he could say it perfect with the T sound and all. Now, though, her name has morphed into "Hada." And that's what he says all the time for her.
"# Difficulty combining and sequencing phonemes. He may be able to imitate or pro-duce individual sounds, but when he tries to combine them into words, he has difficulty, especially as the word gets longer or more complex. He can say "ham," but when he says "hamburger," it may come out as "hangurber." "Banana" may be "nabana." Sounds and syllables are frequently reversed. This reversal is known as metathesis."
---O: This is the classic signs of Apraxia that O has the most of. There are so many sounds he can say individually correct. Or, even words said correctly when they are by themselves. But, combining them with everyday talk is somethin' else that only comes by repetition!



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