Today is Apraxia Awareness Day. Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. When children are learning how to talk it requires multiple, precise movements of their articulators — the tongue, jaw, lips and palate. These small and specific movements need to be timed and sequenced in such a way that verbal, clear speech is produced. Children diagnosed with CAS have difficulty planning these motor speech movements, making verbal communication very challenging.
The good news about CAS is that early intervention can make a big difference in a child and family’s life. At Emerge – A Child’s Place, all four of our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) recently added another tool to our intervention skill set for treating CAS. The Emerge SLPs are now trained in PROMPT©. PROMPT© stands for “Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets,” which is an evidence-based, or research-based, approach. PROMPT© uses a tactile-kinesthetic approach to articulation therapy. By using touch (tactile) cues to help children learn through feeling (kinesthetic means), this helps to re-shape individual speech sounds up to sentence and conversation levels.
Emerge hosted a three-day workshop led by The PROMPT© Institute at our clinic. SLPs came from all over the Triangle area and beyond to learn this intervention method. We had a lot of fun learning how to use our hands to help re-shape the speech sounds that our clients have difficulty producing. PROMPT© can be used to treat both children and adults who have other communication difficulties as well. In addition to Apraxia, PROMPT© is used when treating pediatric and adult populations with phonological and developmental delays, dysarthria, hearing impairment and fluency disorders. Other populations that may benefit from PROMPT© include those with Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder and genetic disorders, among others.
We hope that you take the time on this Apraxia Awareness Day to further educate yourself or someone else. You can learn more about CAS and PROMPT© below:
Blog post by Erica O’Connor, MS, CCC-SLP