Speech Therapy

Symptoms of Apraxia of Speech in Children

Apraxia of speech in children is a motor speech disorder. These children have difficulties with saying words and syllables. This condition does not occur because of paralysis or muscle weakness. The affected child’s brain has difficulty in moving the body parts which are needed for speech movement like the tongue, jaw and lips. Even though the child is aware of what he/she wants to speak, his/her brain fails to coordinate the necessary muscle movements. Read on to know the symptoms of apraxia of speech in children.

Causes of Speech Delay in Children

Symptoms of Apraxia of Speech in Children

Surprisingly, not all children who are affected by apraxia of speech exhibit the same symptoms. It is quite possible that the signs and symptoms might differ in children. Hence, it is imperative to consult a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who can evaluate your child to know the exact cause of his/her speech problems.

Symptoms in a Young Child

  • Problems while eating

  • Simplifies words by either deleting difficult sounds or replacing these words with easier words (quite common in a child with apraxia of speech)

  • Long pauses between sounds

  • Difficulty combining sounds

  • Very few different vowel and consonant sounds

  • Initial words are very late

  • Missing sounds altogether

  • Does not babble or coo as an infant

Symptoms in a Older Child

  • Stresses the wrong word or syllable

  • Sounds monotonous or choppy

  • Is very hard to understand, more importantly for an unfamiliar listener

  • When anxious, the child appears to have more difficulty

  • Difficulty saying phrases or longer words when compared to shorter ones

  • Gropes when attempting to coordinate the jaw, tongue and lips or produce sounds

  • Difficulty in imitating speech, although imitated speech is far more clear when compared to spontaneous speech

  • Understand language better than speaking

  • Inconsistent sound errors

Other Potential Problems

  • Problems when learning to write, spell and read

  • Hyposensitive (under sensitive) or hypersensitive (over sensitive) in their moths like disliking crunchy foods or tooth brushing.

  • Problem with fine motor coordination/movement

  • Expressive language problems such as word recall or word order confusions

  • Delayed language development

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