Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

     Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has unknown causes.  It is called apraxia because the errors produced are similar to the adult apraxia. There is no brain damage and no neurological damage, but it is a disorder of coordination, not strength.
     Some of the characteristics of CAS include moderate to severe speech intelligibility, inconsistent sound errors (the same word will have different errors when repeated), unusual articulation errors, slow rate of speech and there is usually a gap in receptive and expressive language skills (receptive higher).  

Here is a child who has been diagnosed with Apraxia.
Here is the same child 6 months later, with therapy.
     The best way to help children with this is frequent and intensive treatment. They tend to do better when seen individually rather than in group. In order to improve, they must practice. It is essential that the family practice with the child as well.  "One of the most important things for the family to remember is that treatment of apraxia of speech takes time and commitment. Children with CAS need a supportive environment that helps them feel successful with communication."  http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/childhoodapraxia.htm#tx

Monday, June 27, 2011


The English language has a total of 15 vowels. In writing the vowels, I will use their IPA representation. They consist of the front vowels: i as in eat, week, and tree. I as in pin and invite. e as in eight, locate, and balletɛ as in extra and bet. æ as in at and glass. and a as in the British pronunciation of path. Our central vowels are: ʌ as in under and sun. ə as in asleep, balloon, and zebraɝ as in herd, earth, furɚ as in farmer and waterfall. Back vowels are: u as in drewʊ as in foot. o as in over, boat, helloɔ as in all, hall, jaw.  ɑ as in awkward, clock, and raw. There are three diphthongs which include:  ɑI as in aisle, mine, and tryɑʊ as in hour, mouth, and plow. and ɔI as in oil, spoil, and destroy.
In comparison, the Spanish (Mexico) language has 5 vowels. A, E, I, O, U. They are consistent in every word. They always have the same sound.
There is a reason that English is a difficult language to learn.  Not only do we have a plethora of vowels, but they are not consistent in how they are pronounced. For example, the word "bow" can be pronounced as  /bɑʊor /bo/. The 'ow' in this word can represent more than one vowel. So, when our children are struggling to learn this information, there is a viable reason that it is difficult.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What is Speech-Language Pathology?

Speech-Language Pathology specializes in speech disorders and language disorders.

The main components of speech production include: phonation, the process of sound production; resonance, opening and closing of the vocal folds; intonation, the variation of pitch; and voice, including aeromechanical components of respiration.

The main components of language include: phonology, the manipulation of sound according to the rules of the language; morphology, the understanding and use of the minimal units of meaning; syntax, the grammar or principles and rules for constructing sentences in language; semantics, the interpretation of meaning from the signs or symbols of communication; and pragmatics, the social aspects of communication.

^ Block, Frances K.; Amie Amiot, Cheryl Deconde Johnson; Gina E. Nimmo; Peggy G. Von Almen; Deborah W. White; and Sara Hodge Zeno (1993), "Definitions of Communication Disorders and Variations", Ad Hoc Committee on Service Delivery in the Schools, ASHA, doi:10.1044/policy. RP1993-00208, retrieved 2010-08-07