I am off once again to present on Suspected Apraxia and Early Intervention. I will be speaking in Raleigh, NC, Richmond, VA and Norfolk, VA this week. I love to talk to other therapists about helping non-verbal toddlers learn to talk! It is my passion and I can't wait to meet another group of awesome therapists on the east coast. Networking with other professionals is such a rewarding benefit of traveling around the country.
I am such a strong proponent of early intervention because most of brain development occurs prior to age 3. Therefore, the earlier we treat these kiddos, the better their prognosis becomes. We can actually change outcomes in very young, non-verbal children by building new neural pathways in the brain through appropriate intervention. This is why I work exclusively with the birth to 5 population!
When a young child presents with characteristics of a motor planning disorder (Childhood Apraxia of Speech), it is best to begin intervention as soon as possible. Many times I hear people make comments that even though a child is not talking, as long as he understands language, he is probably okay. As professionals I believe we should be HIGHLY concerned about kids with a huge gap between their receptive (understanding) and expressive (talking) language skills. What is causing the child NOT to talk? I frequently hear comments such as "He'll talk when he's ready" or "His sister talks for him" or "He has nothing to say." But what if the child can't talk? What if he knows exactly what he wants to say but he is unable to get the message from the brain to his mouth? What if there is a road-block in the way causing a motor planning disorder? If that is the case, early intervention is necessary!
Join me later for further discussion regarding Childhood Apraxia of Speech! I'm off to North Carolina!