You know your child’s speech has not been developing normally. After taking him to his physician, you were referred to see a Speech and Language Pathologist. They have now labeled your child as apraxic. For some that may seem like a big relief, you finally know what’s wrong and it’s not something worse. For others it may cause fear – will my child ever speak normally?

What is Apraxia

Apraxia involves the inability to carry out purposeful speech movements consistently. The child with verbal apraxia cannot move the lips, the tongue, and the jaw in the right sequence to correctly produce syllables, words and phrases. Generally, the longer the word or phrase, the harder it becomes.
A very young child, such as my daughter at age 2 may only have one or two words or sounds that they use for everything. She consistently said “hi”. Other children may use a sound such as “ba” or “da” for all words. A child at age two, should have a vocabulary of 50 words and able to string together two and three word sentences.
In a 3 – 4 year old child who has entered the talking stage, inconsistency is probably the best characteristic of his speech. Words will not come out the same way. There may be good and poor productions of the same word. Word approximations are very common. You have to guess what your child is trying to say. At age 3 my daughter had about thirty word approximations. An approximation is a partial word, often dropping the beginning or ending of the word. For example she said “ju” for juice, “bay” for baby and “Whee” for her sister Whitney.
With proper intervention there is no reason why your child will not develop normal speech. A plan and treatment goals will be discussed with your child’s speech therapist. Speech therapy can be very intensive for a young child.

Author's Bio: 

I am a stay at home mother of three children, one of which was diagnoised with apraxia at age three. To learn more about apraxia and the author's daughter's amazing recovery from apraxia, please visit