Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ask the Expert - Dr. Kathy Jakielski

We are at the National Apraxia Conference and spent some time asking one of our speakers, Dr. Kathy Jakielski several questions from parents on the Apraxia-KIDS website.

Question: In a Child that presents with both oral and verbal apraxia, what is more important to treat first, the oral or the verbal apraxia?

"If the oral apraxia is such that it is affecting a child's feeding or nutrition, then certainly that should be addressed right away! I would treat the feeding issues in a feeding context. If closing lips to drink is an issue due to oral apraxia, then practicing drinking with a cup (the actual task) would, in my mind, be appropriate. The child should practice doing whatever "oral" skill is needed vs. unrelated oral movements. The same is true of speech apraxia. Speech apraxia should also be treated by working on actual speech. One does not get "treated" before the other. If there is no "functional" problem that the child experiences from the oral apraxia, then working intensively just on speech would be the direction that I would take. I would always be working on the speech, not "waiting. It is not a question of which one would be first then next."

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