by Susan TenEyck aka A Girl Named Suess
(Toccoa, Georgia, USA)
I have a five-year-old son with Apraxia of Speech (severe). He is verbal, even though unintelligible. We have found that sign language is extremely helpful in cueing him to remember the sequence of sounds to speak and several times he has signed a word and said it simultaneousy (very clear). We always verbalize the words with our signing to him.
There is one thing I have learned in my research and observations, and it is appropriate to tell you also that I am a licensed nurse; so, I use my research skills to learn all that I can to help my son. What I have learned is that new and different experiences (and some of the same repetitious ones as well) help to strengthen existing neural pathways in the brain and also these experiences help to build new neural pathways in the brain. The significance of this is that by strengthening existing neural pathways and building on existing cognitive skills as well, the brain will develop new pathways to 'bypass' the damaged pathway(s) (the ones creating the Apraxic condition)and help your child learn to talk.
We do not have a lot of money, so we seek out free events to provide different experiences for our son. (for example like Christmas or other parades, hay rides in the fall, free grand openings at places like Jump in Joy, and other kid-type events) Sometimes we do things like fly a kite, go out in the snow (when it snows,,,lol), stand in the rain, and so forth. I try to think like a kid thinks and any opportunity I can find to do a "different" event for him is a great opportunity in my eyes. The more "emotional" the event is, the more it will help your child. Emotional stress (as I call it)-good or bad-is a powerful force.
Apraxia is a neurological problem and so, I have found that "treating the brain" in the above-mentioned ways by providing new and different experiences often while at the same time using some repetitious events,is an excellent way to provide some therapy to help in overcoming Apraxia.
Just a thought and it may help some other families out there.