Yesterday was the 2nd annual Apraxia Awareness Day, which here in the UK is known as Verbal Dyspraxia. I did mean to have a post prepared for the day itself, but better late than never! It seems like there are still a lot of people who are not familiar with Verbal Dyspraxia so it’s important to me to help spread the awareness when I can.
What is Verbal Dyspraxia?
Developmental verbal dyspraxia (DVD), also known as childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and developmental apraxia of speech (DAS), is an inability to utilize motor planning to perform movements necessary for speech during a child’s language learning process
– Definition from the Wikipedia page on Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia
In simple terms, this means that a child with Verbal Dyspraxia has a problem with the brain wiring between their brain and the muscles in their mouth, so they know what they want to say but their brain is not able to send the right signals for them to produce the correct sounds to form the words and sentences that they require. It’s different from speech delay because it’s a neurological condition, so it’s classified as a speech disorder. It sometimes comes alongside DCD which is Developmental Coordination Disorder or Developmental Dyspraxia. A lot of children with Verbal Dyspraxia also have sensory issues or Autistic traits but Verbal Dyspraxia is not an Autistic Spectrum Disorder in and of itself. Mr T has diagnosis of both ASD and DVD.
This is the post I wrote last year for Apraxia Awareness Day, and it’s so encouraging for me to look back at that and think how far Mr T has come since then. He is talking now!! He’s not always clear at all, and outsiders still find it hard to understand him, but he is talking! Finally at 4.5 years old we are able to have some short conversations with him, and it’s amazing.
It’s taken him (and me, and his speech therapists!) a lot of hard work to get to this stage, and he still has a fair way to go but he’s making great progress at the moment. I just hope he continues to progress like this once he is in school in September.
If you’re reading this as a parent of a child worried about possible Verbal Dyspraxia, or with a child who has recently been diagnosed with this disorder, personally my sincere advice to you would be to invest in private speech therapy with a good speech therapist who specialises in Verbal Dyspraxia. (You can just go for an assessment initially) It is not easy to get this therapy on the NHS. If you can, then definitely grab the chance and take it! But private therapy although obviously not cheap, is worth it. You might be able to go for slightly less frequent sessions and get work to do at home in between, which is what we do to cut down on having to travel every week and it works for us.
This year I’m marking Apraxia Awareness Day here on the blog by offering a giveaway for a bundle of speech therapy apps from Therapy Box. They have offered one In The Playroom reader the chance to win a bundle of the following:
Scene & Heard – a visual scene display communication tool
Sort This Out Pack – a fun educational game designed to work on skills required for categorisation
Minimal Pair Pack – a game to work on phonetic sound discrimination
Odd One Out Pack – a game designed to work on semantic reasoning skills
These look like great bundles, each one designed to help work on a specific set of skills. Each bundle is £49 so this is a great opportunity to win them all!
I have not tried these particular apps, as I am going to be reviewing the new AAC app ChatAble from Therapy Box instead. Check back on the blog for that in a couple of weeks, as we still need to get to grips with it and test it thoroughly!
This giveaway is open worldwide.
Enter via the Rafflecopter below:
Polite Notice: Please can you only enter if you have an actual need for the apps i.e you have a child with speech and language difficulties, you work in speech therapy etc
If you have any posts relating to Apraxia, please link them up below. I’d love to read them! This linky is cohosted by several other bloggers so the posts will be displayed across all of these blogs: (which are all great places to look for more resources and Apraxia / Verbal Dyspraxia posts!)
If there is anyone reading who needs help finding resources or support for Verbal Dyspraxia in their area, feel free to email me or leave me a message on Facebook – I can pass you on the details for a couple of groups.
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