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Oral Motor Apraxia

Could you please explain the appropriate speech therapy for oral motor apraxia?

I believe it is very important that speech therapy includes an approach specifically designed for oral-motor apraxia. In my experience, the following procedures have been successful:

Features of Therapy for Oral Motor Apraxia

  • Use highly inflected simple, single words or utterance (eventually may be extended to longer utterances)
  • Syllables must be prolonged a minimum of 2 seconds per syllable, e.g., b-a-a-a-a-b-y-y-y-y
  • Presentation should be a little louder than normal
  • Numerous repetitions of the same word or phrase, accompanied by holding the stimulus item or a plastic ring near the mouth, or placing ones fingers near the parent's/therapist's mouth
  • Expectant waiting: look at the child as though you expect a response (usually includes raised eyebrows)
  • The features of prolongation, slightly louder volume, and exaggerated inflection in the stimulus word are probably more successful at eliciting a response because they intensify auditory and visual stimulation; allow for greater auditory processing time; are closer in form to the motherese appropriate for the child's cognitive age; and are more "musical"
  • Use of gesture, movement, tapping with a block, or clapping to mark the rhythm of each syllable or word is important because gesture facilitates oral communication
  • Reinforcement of successive approximations by the child, i.e., praise all attempts, particularly the ones that come closer to the desired behavior.

MG/TK 7-13-10



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