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Apraxia & sign language

Charity - posted on 12/28/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Has anyone had success with sign language and apraxia? My 3 1/2 niece recently began speech therapy and looks as though the diagnosis will be apraxia. Her motor skills are capable of signing. Her parents are having a hard time paying for a therapist and behavior issues are beginning due to her frustration and lack of being able to communicate. Her mother has asked me to reach out to see if anyone has some advice. Will sign language delay speech even further? Thanks so much!!

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Kathy - posted on 04/09/2011

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She is lucky. My son does not have the fine motor coordination to sign. In my opinion, the frustration is more of an impediment to progression that any kind of augmentative communication. I have read that using PECS (picture exchange system) signing or anything else that facilitates language also helps with the speech production and reduces the frustration which can lead to significant behavior problems.

Jennifer - posted on 03/29/2011

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Sign language will only help - it alleviates the frustration so that the brain can get out of survival mode and focus on reconnecting the neurons - so a speech therapist told me.

It made a lot of sense because the more signs my son learned the more he started to pick up with his sounds and words. They only want to be heard and if that is his only avenue go for it. I would try to see if the school district can give free speech therapy if money is an issue. Signing can be so much fun! Also, another option is communicating with pictures. We did both so that others that didn't know sign language could still understand him. Hang in there

User - posted on 03/24/2011

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Sign has been wonderful for my daughter. She is 5 and when she can actually tell me something It makes her so happy!! When we work on a sound..A for instance we say the sound while making the sign... But she can sign basic signs.. like potty! and can make her needs and wants know easier. She gets therapy at a local university and it is only $75 a month.. so if you have a university with at Speech and hearing center they might could help. The dr. over the program at the University was very much in favor of sign.. And for my daughter it keeps her less frustrated when she can not tell me what she wants...

Melissa - posted on 12/30/2010

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I have a 4 year old boy with Apraxia.I had REACH and he was diagnosed at 21/2.I got him on an IEP as soon as I found out because then the schools have to supply a speech therapist and support the child threw a pre school program.there she will get FREE speech therapy.Also I would find out if you have a counsling group that will support the family and child,this is because as parents we think we know whats best for our kids but when yor dealing with IEPs and teachers the language is difficult to keep up with.Beleive me to read an IEP form is like reading a leagle aide book bla bla bla!!!! You need someone that understands the language of an IEP dont sign anything till you understand that what was adressed at the school meeting is in there.It is important to have a family advocate on your side and you must feel like your in control not them!!! I am very fortunate to have a group of counslers that support my family for both my boys.
I did do sign language with my son and he enjoyed it.I would try hard to keep her in theropy because they have tools that they use and the pataints to work with them.I also am a stonge beleiver in attending and have them help you to do the same things at home.Apraxia is hard to understand for those that dont have a child with itbecause they look normal and can understand what your saying but just cant say the words back at you,How ever I feel it makes them alot smarter in so many ways.

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