About 54 million Americans, one out of every five people, have a disability. The language we use and the meanings we attach to those words mold the views of ourselves and others. Using a diagnosis as a defining characteristic is a form of prejudice and fuels negative attitudes towards differently abled individuals. People first language respectfully emphasizes the person before a diagnosis or disability. It eliminates stereotypes and generalizations by focusing on the person rather than the disability. Let’s lead by example and educate those who are unaware. What we say matters.
By: Laura Smith
I was a practicing speech-language pathologist for five years before my daughter was born. I worked primarily at the elementary and middle-school levels. I took professional development workshops on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and treated it successfully in three kiddos from my caseload. Perhaps that’s why I was bewildered, angry and utterly devastated when I missed those very signs in my own child.
I hadn’t yet worked in early intervention, so I missed what seem like obvious signs to me now that I specialize in the disorder. I urge all SLPs to learn more about CAS, because the disorder requires a specialized approach different from other commonly used treatments for speech and language delays.
In addition, ASHA denotes that the qualified professional to diagnose CAS is an SLP with specialized knowledge in motor learning theory and skills with differential diagnosis in childhood motor speech disorder, not a neurologist or other medical practitioner. It’s important to know the signs, but also to refer your client to a qualified SLP for differential diagnosis if you suspect childhood apraxia of speech.
Here are 10 early signs and symptoms of childhood apraxia of speech:
You can tap the below resources to learn more about childhood apraxia of speech.
Laura Smith, MA, CCC-SLP, is a school-based and private clinician in the Denver metro area specializing in childhood apraxia of speech. She’s CASANA-certified for advanced training and clinical expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and often speaks at conferences and consults for school districts or other professionals.
Original blog: http://blog.asha.org/2015/04/09/10-early-signs-and-symptoms-for-childhood-apraxia-of-speech/
Amy Grant is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Certified Autism Specialist and Clinic Director of Therapy Center of Buda.
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