Speech Therapy

The Criteria for Apraxia of Speech

Children who suffer from neurological disorders have to meet certain prescribed criteria to be categorized as suffering a certain autism spectrum disorder. One such disorder is the apraxia of speech. Children, usually the sufferers of apraxia lose their speaking abilities or are just unable to produce speech. But, this disability alone would not classify them in the category of apraxia.

What are the actual criterions that can classify a child to be a sufferer of apraxia?

Criteria for Apraxia of Speech: According to many speech language pathologists the following are the criterions that classify a child to belong to this particular autism spectrum disorder.

  1. Phonemic repertoire would be restricted. It is our phonemic repertoire that enables a listener understand what we are saying. The speaker’s speech may not be clear to the listener as there can be a limitation when it comes to pronouncing a few consonant and vowel sounds.
  2. Frequent omission of words. This problem would make the speaker’s speech unclear and the listener would be left confused as to what was spoken. Children would tend to omit a few words while speaking as they cannot find the right word while speaking.
  3. Domination of the speech with simple syllables. Lot of unclear sounds like buh, uhh et. would be frequently used in the speech.
  4. Expressive language would be considerably reduced when compared to receptive language.
  5. A lot of errors while making vowel sounds.
  6. As the speech gets longer so would the errors.
  7. Imitating the words spoken by peers, teachers or parents would be very tough.
  8. Inability to move all the speech articulators properly while speaking resulting in unclear and error prone speech.
  9. Inability to use the same word in two different contexts as speech errors might arise.
  10. No proper coordination of articulators and an impairment in movement due to weakness.

Out of the above mentioned criteria for apraxia of speech, a child should possess at least 8 of the above speech deficiencies to be classified and diagnose. There are a few pathologists who argue that the minimum is 9.

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