Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder that impairs the ability to plan and coordinate the movements required for speech.

Understanding and addressing your child’s speech development is a journey filled with curiosity and joy. One aspect that might come into focus is Apraxia of Speech – a motor speech disorder that can influence how your child plans and coordinates the intricate movements necessary for clear and effective communication. Here’s a closer look at how it might manifest in your child’s early years and how you can navigate this journey together.


Apraxia of Speech might become noticeable as your child develops speech and language skills. Here are some potential observations across different age groups:

  1. Infancy (0-2 years):
    • Limited babbling or delayed onset of babbling.
    • Challenges with imitating simple sounds or gestures.
    • Reduced variety in consonant and vowel sounds.
  2. Preschool Age (3-5 years):
    • Difficulty forming words and combining them into sentences.
    • Inconsistent speech sound production.
    • Frustration or avoidance of speaking tasks.
  3. Elementary School (6-11 years):
    • Persistent difficulty with speech sound accuracy and clarity.
    • Struggling with more complex speech tasks, such as reading aloud or giving presentations.
    • Challenges with the rhythm and flow of speech.
  4. Early Adolescence (12-14 years):
    • Continued struggles with speech sound precision, impacting academic and social interactions.
    • Difficulty adapting speech to different communication contexts.
    • Potential impact on written language expression.


If you observe these signs, it’s crucial to consult with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) for a comprehensive evaluation. The diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech often involves:

  1. Case History: Gathering information about your child’s speech and language development, medical history, and any potential contributing factors.
  2. Oral-Motor Examination: Assessing the coordination and movement of oral structures involved in speech production.
  3. Speech Sound Assessment: Evaluating the accuracy and consistency of speech sounds in various contexts.
  4. Language Assessment: Examining overall language skills, including vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.
  5. Observation of Speech Patterns: The SLP will observe how your child plans and executes speech movements in both structured and spontaneous situations.

Therapy Plan:

A personalized therapy plan will be designed to address your child’s unique needs. The focus will likely include:

  1. Oral Motor Exercises: Engaging in activities to enhance the coordination and strength of the muscles involved in speech.
  2. Articulation Therapy: Targeting specific speech sounds through drills and exercises to improve accuracy.
  3. Multisensory Approaches: Using visual, auditory, and tactile cues to support speech production.
  4. Phonological Awareness Activities: Building awareness of the sound structure of words to improve overall speech and literacy skills.
  5. Intensive Practice: Consistent and repetitive practice of targeted sounds and speech tasks to enhance muscle memory.
  6. Parent Involvement: Providing strategies and activities for parents to incorporate into daily routines, fostering a supportive environment for speech development.

PROMPT therapy (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a specialized approach for addressing Apraxia of Speech, requiring therapists to undergo specific training. Therapists trained in PROMPT utilize tactile-kinesthetic cues to facilitate precise motor planning and coordination in speech production. They tailor interventions to the unique needs of each child, integrating PROMPT techniques with other therapy approaches such as articulation therapy and oral motor exercises.

Remember, each child is unique, and therapy plans are tailored to their individual strengths and challenges. With your dedication and the support of a skilled SLP, you can empower your child on their journey to confident and effective communication.

Definition of Apraxia of Speech – Websters Dictionary