verbal-apraxiaBaby sign language is usually only thought of in the context of understanding a baby’s wants and needs but having a basic knowledge of baby sign language has proven to be a helpful intervention with children diagnosed with special needs including Apraxia.

Sign language provides a multi-sensory input that children with Apraxia need to in order to develop normal speech. In addition, it helps children with Apraxia receive many of the same social, emotional and academic benefits of sign language as those children with other speech development disorders.

Just because a child is slow to talk doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong.

Einstein didn’t talk until he was five years old; boys generally learn to talk later; second and third born children speak later as a general rule; or quit talking for your baby so he will learn to speak.

What Is Apraxia

Apraxia is defined as a disorder caused by damage to specific areas of the cerebrum and there are three different types. These include: limb, oral, and Verbal Apraxia. Each one is characterized by a person trying to perform a task or make a word on command and struggling to.

Oral Apraxia in children can occur in the form of oral movement difficulties. In this case, the brain is unable to allow the body to make oral movement upon command. For example, if the child is asked to whistle, smile, or any movements of the mouth, he would experience difficulties. Limb Apraxia in children is involving many more gross motor skills such as waving hands, holding a toy, or getting a thing on command.

Verbal Apraxia or the Apraxia of speech can be confused for an articulation disorder or fluency (stuttering) disorder. For instance, there is difficulty in groping movements to move their mouth and tongue to the correct position. It is also very common for them to correctly say a word, and then have difficulty with speech development.

What Is The Difference Between Oral And Verbal Apraxia

Oral Apraxia is a term that describes impairment in non-speech functions, such as blowing, whistling, sucking, smiling, or licking lips. Verbal Apraxia is closely related to Oral Apraxia. It is a problem in a part of the brain’s cerebrum that affects the rapid sequence of muscle movements that’s needed to make the sounds of speech. Oral and Verbal Apraxia are likely to overlap in diagnosis.

It has been found that children who have this condition are usually quite capable of understanding spoken language even if they are unable to express themselves. Many of the aberrant behaviours related to developmental disabilities are rooted in the frustration associated with an inability to communicate. Baby signing can help alleviate this frustration in children with Apraxia.

What Are The Benefits Of Baby Sign Language For Children With Apraxia.

Through extensive therapy with a speech-language pathologist, some children with Apraxia can in fact resolve some of their problems with talking, though the disorder itself can be long term. Exposing your child to baby sign language will make him more attentive and engaged in what he is learning. It will also help your child form better relationships with other people and alleviate the frustration that is caused by an inability to express or communicate as it provides him with a communication tool.

Some people believe that baby sign language may delay speech in babies, but that is not true. Babies are born communicators but they cannot use their vocal chords from day one.

However, from around 6 months of age, babies can use their hands to wave hello and to also communicate. If you have a child who has been diagnosed with Apraxia, try baby sign language today and experience the beautiful benefits from this wonderful communication tool.

You can try a variety of things once your baby reaches the recommended age to start signing and make sure that you always introduce a mix of practical and motivational signs.

Simple things such as reading to your baby can be turned into a fun game once you start to introduce baby sign as it helps to animate the stories so there is play and interaction.

Australian Baby Hands was developed to create baby sign language resources for parents, families and child care workers using baby sign language resources and baby sign classes. Our resources provide step by step instructions for parents on how to introduce baby sign language into your home in a fun easy way.