Speech Delay or Apraxia?
For the past few weeks we’ve been faced with our youngest son having a serious speech issue. At first we just thought his speech was delayed because he was the second born or because his brother talks so much he never gets a chance to. I never really worried about it and figured he would catch up eventually. But right before his second birthday I noticed that his speech didn’t seem to be progressing. The words he used were almost his own language. I could usually figure out what he was saying, but no one else could understand him.
At his 2 year well child appointment his pediatrician seemed very concerned. She said that he should have around 10-20 words and be able to start string words together into “sentences.” We were given referrals for a hearing and balance test as well as speech therapy. I was in shock. Does that mean he can’t hear? Does that mean he can’t learn to speak? Does that mean something could be wrong with him?
The hearing test was inconclusive. I believe the test results read, “possible 20% hearing loss in at least one ear. Possibly due to fluid in middle ear.” We were told to come back in 6 months to have him retested. The doctor recommended find a good speech therapist…that if it wasn’t hearing loss it would most likely be apraxia. She explained that apraxia is when the muscles in the mouth can’t form the words the brain wants it to say. It was like being punched in the gut hearing that description. It’s exactly what I see when I watch our son struggle to communicate with us, but only the same sounds come out over and over. When we ask him, “Can you say dog?”, instead of saying some 2-year-old version of dog, he shakes his head and says, “Uh-uh.”
Tomorrow we meet with a speech therapist. She is going to come to our home, which is really comforting. But I can’t help but worry and be nervous. I’ve done a little research on apraxia. Apparently some kids need to be in speech therapy every week for several years. For some it’s a lifelong struggle to learn to speak correctly. Don’t get me wrong…I’m thankful everyday that my children are healthy, happy and with me every day. But any time your child has to struggle it’s heartbreaking. I’m hoping tomorrow will bring some good information, a plan of action and most of all, hope.
Source : Raising Healthy Kids, Katie_G
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