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Education Issues for Children with Apraxia

There has been recent research that indicates children with a diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (and other certain speech sound disorders) are at high risk for literacy problems and language-learning related educational difficulties. Speech-language pathologists in the school systems are instrumental in helping educators understand the ramifications of speech/language difficulties in the realm of literacy related activities. Phonological awareness, reading, spelling and written expression are identified in the literature as possible problem areas. Additionally, comprehension and overall language processing are other possible deficit areas for monitoring and remediation. The SLP can participate with educators to select appropriate materials that address a child’s main weakness. For example, explicit training in letter – sound associations or systematic, multisensory reading approaches best serve some children with apraxia.

Children with CAS often have poor oral and written language and narrative skills. Social and pragmatic language skills also necessarily suffer when there is a deficit in narrative skills. Many children with CAS have had less opportunity to participate in conversation due to their severe speech production challenges and thus have difficulty developing these important skills. Careful attention, evaluation, and remediation of such skills warrant the earliest possible intervention. A great deal of future success both in school and in life has at its base adequate pragmatic language ability.

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