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Oral Motor Apraxia


Could you please explain the appropriate speech therapy for oral motor apraxia?

Answer of our experts

I believe it is very important that speech therapy includes an approach specifically designed for oral-motor apraxia. In my experience, the following procedures have been successful: Features of Therapy for Oral Motor Apraxia Use highly inflected simple, single words or utterance (eventually may be extended to longer utterances) Syllables must be prolonged a minimum of 2 seconds per syllable, e.g., b-a-a-a-a-b-y-y-y-y

Presentation should be a little louder than normal

Numerous repetitions of the same word or phrase, accompanied by holding the stimulus item or a plastic ring near the mouth, or placing ones fingers near the parent's/therapist's mouth

Expectant waiting: look at the child as though you expect a response (usually includes raised eyebrows)

The features of prolongation, slightly louder volume, and exaggerated inflection in the stimulus word are probably more successful at eliciting a response because they intensify auditory and visual stimulation; allow for greater auditory processing time; are closer in form to the motherese appropriate for the child’s cognitive age; and are more “musical”

Use of gesture, movement, tapping with a block, or clapping to mark the rhythm of each syllable or word is important because gesture facilitates oral communication

Reinforcement of successive approximations by the child, i.e., praise all attempts, particularly the ones that come closer to the desired behavior

MG/TK 7-13-10

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Communication and language

When assessing communication, vision and hearing problems, speech impairments, intellectual disability, difficulties in social interaction and social anxiety should be considered. Video observations can be very useful.
Developmentally appropriate communication strategies (such as speech therapy, augmented communication input) should be implemented within the first 18 months of life.

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