Verbal Dyspraxia Symptoms

verbal dyspraxia

Verbal Dyspraxia symptoms can vary depending on severity of the speech disorder and the age of the child. Symptoms of developmental verbal dyspraxia or Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) can be difficult to isolate for very young children.  Dyspraxia refers to the difficulties with motor planning i.e., the brain’s messages to muscles are disrupted and so it is hard for children to co-ordinate body and/or speech movements.

​Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia refers to a speech disorder where the motor speech skills are disrupted cause reduced speaking skills and reduced speech clarity.
verbal dyspraxia

It can be hard to definitively diagnosis a child with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia in young babies and toddlers. This is because a young child’s speech and language skills are still developing. There can be many factors influencing this development from late talking to autism. Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia is considered a speech disorder as it interrupts the typical child speech developmental pathway.

The following list provides key characteristics of Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia. Children may have some or all of the following characteristics of DVD:

  • Late talking or fewer spoken words than expected for age
  • Inconsistent production of the same word e.g., each time a word is said, different errors occur.
  • May have difficulties making sounds on request or repeating back strings of sounds (e.g, ParTar Kar; ParTarKar)
  • Can appear to “get stuck” on saying something i.e. they may “grope” around with their tongues and lips in an effort to move them into the position they need to be to say their target word.
  • Present with a limited number of different types of speech sounds in their developing spontaneous speech
  • Can have difficulties with the rhythm and typical intonation patterns. They may stop and search for ways to say words
  • Vowels frequently do not sound typical
  • May talk slower with more pauses between words
  • Therapy for delayed speech result in slower than expected improvements
  • They have more luck co-ordinating speech sounds in simple words than in connected speech such as sentences (i.e., speech intelligibility decreases the longer the sentence or the fast the rate it is told).
  • They may over use a particular speech sound or substitute sounds with incorrect speech sound pronunciations
  • Current or history of breast, bottle or spoon feeding. They may be slow or messy eaters. Chewing may be unco-ordinated.
  • Delayed development of early speech skills including poor baby babble development.

What to do if you suspect a child has Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia

verbal dyspraxia

It is generally recognised that children with developmental verbal dyspraxia do not get better without profession al support. This can include GPs, Paediatricians and speech pathologists.

​Usually they require regular, direct therapy delivered by a Speech Therapist. Due to the nature of verbal dyspraxia a lot of home practise is required between speech pathology sessions in order to help train the motor speech patterns. SpeechNet provides Language Moment videos as well as downloads with suggestions of how to boost speech skills for specific books and toys.

​SpeechNet Speech Therapists use a range of different therapy approaches to treat children with developmental verbal dyspraxia. Contact SpeechNet today to learn how we can assist children with Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia.

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Sandra McMahon

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