What is Apraxia?
Apraxia, also called Apraxia of Speech, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) or Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS), is a difficulty planning the movements necessary for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say but the signal from the brain to the muscles is not efficiently delivered. This results in difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to speak clearly. In Canada, Speech-Language Pathologists are not allowed to make the diagnosis, even though they are typically the professionals working directly with the children. A Physician's diagnosis is required. In USA, the diagnosis is made by the SLP after other factors (such as hearing impairment) have been ruled out. From a therapeutic perspective, a medical diagnosis by a doctor is not necessary in order for the SLP to set goals and begin therapy using the PROMPT approach. Even without a formal diagnosis, the SLP can annalyse the child's motor speech system and identify the domains and framework for intervention. The terms "Motor Planning" or "Motor Speech Dificulties" are often used by the SLP to describe the child's difficulties, even when there is no diagnosis of CAS. Click here to view a video on Apraxia
What is PROMPT?
PROMPT is a philosophy, an approach, a system and a technique for treating children with motor speech difficulties. PROMPT stands for Prompts For Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets and was developed by Deborah Hayden in 1984. When a child is treated using a PROMPT approach, the technique is typically the most obvious thing that parents observe. They will see the clinician guiding the child's mouth using touch and pressure to help the child plan the movements necessary to make speech sounds. However, this technique is only a small part of what makes PROMPT an efficient from of interevention. It is Deborah Hayden's philosophy, approach and the whole system that truly make the difference. The PROMPT pilosophy suggests a manner of conceptualzing communication and the breakdowns of communication across different "domains". The philosophy provides a specific framework to approach intervention. As a system, PROMPT also helps to set goals, plan and organize indivudualized therapy in a manner that is different from traditional articulation approaches. Click here to view a video on PROMPT therapy
Who benefits from PROMPT therapy?
PROMPT therapy is useful for children with many different types of communication difficulties. Typically, clients have motor speech difficulties, sound production (articulation) disorders, or may even be non-verbal. Children with a wide range of diagnoses benefit from PROMPT, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, apraxia/dysarthria, hearing impairment, etc. In order to determine if PROMPT would be useful for your child, an assessment by a PROMPT trained Speech-Language Pathologist is required.
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