As you go through your pregnancy, you may hear about several unfamiliar disorders for children and one being apraxia. This may leave you wondering, how is infant apraxia treated? The treatment often involves one-on-one speech therapy sessions as the child ages. Early on, though, doctors may recommend teaching young children methods of communication beyond speech.
Children do not begin to communicate verbally until the age of 6 months, usually through babbling. They begin speaking words around 12 months of age. Because of this, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose apraxia properly. About 1 or 2 children in 1,000 will develop apraxia, according to a study at Penn State College of Medicine.
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Apraxia is a type of speech problem that is not physically related to problems with the mouth or muscles of the face. Instead, it relates to a brain disorder that affects the parts of the brain that control the motor coordination of speech. The conditions that lead to apraxia generally occur at the time of birth.
The brain attempts to send the signals to the mouth, tongue, and other muscles involved in speech, but the brain cannot generate the signals or send the signals properly.
Because this condition does not involve muscles, surgery is not an effective treatment for apraxia. Instead, therapy is the recommended path toward helping the child cope with this condition.
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Using Therapy to Treat Apraxia
There are a few different types of therapies that parents and doctors can choose to deploy when trying to help the child overcome the effects of apraxia on communication.
Through speech therapy, the speech-language pathologist often will work one-on-one with the child, attempting to help the child use exercises to allow the brain to make the connections required to enhance the ability to speak.
Some of the types of exercises may include:
- Repeating words
- Repeating phrases
- Practicing speaking while looking in a mirror
- Having the child touch his or her throat or mouth while trying to say a word
Therapists may recommend that the child attend therapy sessions between three and five times per week, especially during the early days of therapy, to help the child make as much progress as possible.
Learning Other Communication Methods
While a child with apraxia works to improve his or her speaking ability through therapy, some therapists may try to help the child learn how to communicate in another way.
The therapist may teach the child some sign language, allowing the child to communicate without having to speak. The sign language is something the parents can reinforce when working with the child at home.
Another option is to give the child a book with photographs, allowing the child to point at an object when he or she tries to communicate.
Treating the Causes of Apraxia
An additional option for treating apraxia is to attempt to treat some of the conditions that are associated with the formation of apraxia.
Children with autism sometimes also end up with an apraxia diagnosis. Autism is a far more frequent diagnosis than apraxia, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 54 children develop a condition that appears on the autism spectrum disorder.
If the doctor believes the child’s autism and apraxia are related, he or she may order therapies aimed at alleviating the symptoms of autism, hoping they also relieve some of the apraxia symptoms. Those with autism may receive therapy or interventions to help them.
Birth Injuries Resulting in Apraxia
Another potential cause of apraxia occurs if the child suffers some sort of injury during the birthing process.
If the doctor attempts to use forceps or a vacuum extractor during a vaginal birth, he or she could cause some sort of brain injury to the child by applying too much pressure to the skull. It is possible that the brain injury during delivery involved a mistake on the part of the doctor, resulting in negligence.
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If your child has received a diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech, you may be wondering, how is infant apraxia treated? The treatment may involve quite a few different options that you and your doctor can consider. These treatments could last for several years, and they could become expensive over time.
If you believe your child’s diagnosis of apraxia is related to a birth injury that may have happened several months or more before the actual diagnosis of apraxia, you still have the right to attempt to receive compensation for your family’s pain, suffering, and medical bills.
When you contact the team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for a free consultation, we will discuss the facts in your case and determine the strength of your claim for damages. If you hire us, we will research the facts in the case, seeking to show that a doctor’s negligence led to the diagnosis of apraxia for your baby. Contact us at (800) 222-9529 today.