Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dayton, Oh WPAFB
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Well, keep in mind that Connor is not your typical Apraxic kid, because he has a whole host of other medical issues and structural defects. So we were initially going off the assumption that he had a submucous cleft palate, velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI--a soft palate dysfunction or defect), and a speech delay. All three of those are extremely common in his syndrome (he's missing a piece of chromosome, a syndrome called Velocardiofacial Syndrome, or DiGeorge Syndrome). In fact, the renowned expert in the syndrome says that apraxia is a mis-diagnosis almost 100% of the time, and that it is nearly always cleft palate and/or VPI.
BUT...we are only able to find "subtle suggestions" of a cleft or VPI, no one (not his ENT, not the surgeon on the cleft team, not the surgeon on the VPI team, not his speech therapists...no one!!) can find the cleft and there are no signs of VPI with speech (signs of it with swallow though). All that left was apraxia!!!
I can write out for you exactly what his last assessment said, but I left the paperwork at work (where I scanned it to send to his IEP team) so that'll have to wait until tomorrow.
His speech...he has basically one vowel sound "ah" and a very limited number of consonant sounds (mostly the bi-labial sounds, m, b, p) and some of the tongue sounds (can't remember the term for them...d, an occassional t) He is capable of imitating nearly any one-word utterance, particularly if it only one or two syllables. But he doesn't use many words spontaneously (maybe 20?). And the longer or more complex the word (particularly if there are vowel sounds) the more errors he makes. He will substitute a bi-labial consonant and the "ah" vowel inevitably. So, he can say "I" "want" "more" "milk" (sort of, approximations of each word) but if he tries to say the whole sentence, it sounds like "ah wah ma MA"
We chose ASL with him because he also has hearing loss, and we initially thought he would have just the typical speech delay so common in his syndrome (which means intelligible speech may be delayed until well into elementary school) so we chose to teach him ASL. It has worked wonders!! His verbal expressive is 15-18 months, but his ASL expressive is 36-40 months!!! We started signing with him at 11 months old, and his response has just been fantastic! So much so that we are considering a school for the deaf (they have an apraxia program that is full sign and full verbal)
If I get a chance, I'll type out what the SLP said during his last eval.
Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)