Dyspraxia is a difficulty with planning and coordinating motor movements, in the absence of any muscle weakness. This can affect an individual's speech and language as the individual may find it difficult to plan and coordinate the movements needed for speech.
Individuals with Dyspraxia may have difficulties in their speech and language which can range from mild to severe. They may additionally have a difficulty in their eating and drinking.
Speech and language therapy is highly beneficial for individuals with Dyspraxia. Speech and language therapy will help to maximise an individual's communication to their highest potential.
What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a difficulty in the ability to plan and coordinate movements effectively. Dyspraxia can affect speech and language which can be classified into two types of dyspraxia:
Oral Dyspraxia is a difficulty in planning and coordinating voluntary movements of the tongue, soft palate or lips.
Verbal Dyspraxia is a difficulty in planning and controlling the voluntary movements of the muscles used for speech. The term apraxia of speech is commonly used in the UK when referring to individuals who have no speech at all as a result of their dyspraxia.
Symptoms of Dyspraxia
Individuals with Dyspraxia may present with the following symptoms:
- Poor balance
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Increased tendency to fall or trip.
- Difficulty with fine motor movements e.g. writing and drawing.
- Difficulty with gross motor movements e.g. walking.
- Unclear speech, difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or words.
- Volume rate and pitch of voice may be uncontrolled.
- Difficulty planning their thoughts.
- Difficulties with eating, drinking and swallowing.
What causes Dyspraxia?
The exact cause of Dyspraxia is unknown; however any injury to the brain or the nervous system can result in dyspraxia. Common conditions which may result in Dyspraxia include:
How is Dyspraxia diagnosed?
A diagnosis of Dyspraxia will be made by a team of medical professionals. A speech and language therapist will play a key role in identifying and treating individuals with verbal or oral dyspraxia. The speech and language therapist will carry out a number of assessments and clinical observations to help determine whether an individual has dyspraxia and also the severity of their dyspraxia.
What problems caused by Dyspraxia can speech and language therapy help with?
Speech and language therapy can help with a variety of difficulties caused by Dyspraxia. Speech and language therapy can be beneficial in helping with the following difficulties experienced by individuals with Dyspraxia:
- Attention and Listening Problems
- Expressive Language Problems
- Speech Sound Problems
- Communication Problems
- Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Difficulties
How does speech and language therapy help Dyspraxia?
Speech and language therapy can be extremely beneficial for individuals with Dyspraxia. Speech and language therapy helps individuals with Dyspraxia by maximising their ability to communicate to their highest potential. Speech and language therapy can also help with any eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties experienced by individuals with Dyspraxia.
Speech and language therapy has many benefits for individuals with Dyspraxia. Some of the benefits of speech and language therapy include:
- Improved Expressive Communication
- Improved Speech
- Increased Social Opportunities
- Increasing Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Benefits
What would speech and language therapy treatment for Dyspraxia involve?
The speech and language therapist will carry out an initial assessment which will help to determine what difficulties the individual is experiencing and also the severity of their difficulties. An initial assessment will also help in deciding what the most appropriate treatment plan will be for each individual.
The speech and language therapist will provide an individualised treatment plan for the individual which will be tailored to their specific needs and abilities.
After the initial assessment, treatment at speech and language therapy may include:
- One to One Therapy
- Clinic visits
- home visits
- Consultative Role
- Alternative and Augmentative Communication
- Advice and Education
- Individual Therapy
- Group Therapy
The main goal of speech and language therapy is to maximise the individual's ability to communicate to their highest potential. Speech and language therapy will also address any eating, drinking or swallowing difficulties.
Specific treatment for individuals with dyspraxia may include:
- Alternative and Augmentative Communication
- Total Communication Approach
- Voice Therapy
- Articulation Therapy
- Oral-motor exercises
- Breathing exercises
- Eating Drinking and Swallowing Management
- Compensatory Strategies
How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment?
If you would like to arrange an assessment with one of our speech and language therapists for Dyspraxia please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 0885 643.
Dyspraxia is a difficulty in planning and coordinating movements. Dyspraxia can affect the muscles involved with speaking, eating and drinking which can cause oral Dyspraxia or verbal Dyspraxia. Speech and language therapy can help to identify and treat Dyspraxia. Speech and language therapy is highly beneficial for individuals with Dyspraxia and will maximise their communication, eating and drinking to their highest ability. If you feel you would benefit from our speech and language therapy services and would like to book an appointment, please email@example.com or call 0161 8833 0077.
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