Apraxia Therapy Video Illustrations

Apraxia Therapy Video Illustrations.

Apraxia of speech has a neurological basis and is not developmental.  Oral/verbal apraxia of speech is a disorder where the brain signals that go to the muscles and structures of the speech mechanism are disrupted.  A new study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics in June 24, 2015 finds that the relatively rare speech disorder apraxia affects nearly 65 percent of children with autism. The finding is important because apraxia warrants a specific type of therapy not otherwise part of an autism intervention program. Intensive treatment by qualified, experienced speech-language pathologists who is highly trained and experienced in treating children with dual autism/apraxia diagnosis is required.

The following videos were kindly provided by Nastasia’s family to help other families with children with duel diagnosis of autism and apraxia better understand the apraxia therapy process.

Before starting therapy with us, Nastasia had been in traditional speech therapy for many years with minimal results.

In the first video Nastasia is working on sustaining clear phonation for 3-5 seconds. The video is recorded at the very beginning of our journey, and one can see how hard it is for Nastasia to sustain clear phonation for even 1 second.


The next video illustrates that even when a child does not have motor control to verbalize independently yet, the therapy still needs to be fun and functional. Nastasia could not produce “ice-cream, or “dough” yet.  These words required motor planning that she did not have at that time. However, this was what she liked to play with: playdough ice-cream making machine and this what we used to engage her. At this stage Nastasia was receiving maximum prompting to produce words approximations: tactile, verbal, and visual cues. The therapist was using PROMPT tactile –kinesthetic input throughout the whole session to facilitate her verbal productions.


The PROMPT therapy, an acronym for PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, is a multidimensional approach to speech production disorders. The technique is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to a patient’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through a targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique develops motor control and the development of proper oral muscular movements, while eliminating unnecessary muscle movements, such as jaw sliding and inadequate lip rounding.

The next videos are recorded in the summer of 2015, approximately a year and a half into therapy. One can see that Nastasia does not require continuous tactile prompting to produce words, and we are working on three syllabic words- potato, tomato… and on two syllabic words+CVC: table top, paddle boat, honey pot…We have to include drills into our sessions as apraxia therapy warrants intensive motor practice.



The next video is Nastasia’s message to me that she recorded from home. You can see that Nastasia is able to imitate 3 word phrases and she does not need tactile prompts for functional phrases/ sentences any more.  I love you too, Nastasia! Thank you for your hard work!


In the next video we are working on noun+verb+object sentences, Nastasia is using her best word approximations and whole words. “Bunny eat(s) potato”


Last video, illustrates how Nastasia’s parents work and play with her at home. Her mom created a “What is missing” game with eggs that Nastasia likes to dye every day of the year, not just for Easter! Nastasia answers mom’s questions and then at the end asks for “poon”, her best approximation of the word “spoon”, to get the egg out of the cup.  Unprompted, spontaneous communication!


We continue working on using functional phrases “give me”, “take off “, “want… “and describing pictures with simple noun+verb+object sentences. More videos to follow!

More Than Words is providing Apraxia therapy in Plano, TX ,If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (214) 683-5123.

Anna Gabelev