Is it just a speech delay or does my child have verbal apraxia? That is a question many parents have asked themselves. There are some big differences in a child that is speech delayed or has apraxia.
The only true way to know is to have a complete evaluation by a speech and language therapist who is experienced in the care of young children and treating apraxia. A medical doctor is generally not qualified to make such a diagnosis. They may say they suspect apraxia and then refer you to a speech therapist who can help you.
A child who is just speech delayed will eventually talk, however their speech develops at a slower rate than average. They will generally have a “language explosion” and begin talking more. A child with apraxia, without intervention will not likely talk clearly or have a burst of language.
Children with apraxia often drop the beginnings or endings of words. These errors will not resolve themselves or the child will not grow out of them. They often may display other symptoms too, such as difficulty blowing out birthday candles, or saying a word once or twice and then not saying it again. Verbal apraxia may or may not have other conditions associated with it such as sensory, coordination, developmental or muscle issues.
If you are questioning if it is apraxia or not, please see a qualified speech therapist in your area to determine an accurate diagnosis.
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