Speech Therapy and Possible Childhood Apraxia in My 16 Month Old

Updated on October 11, 2011
J.F. asks from San Ramon, CA
10 answers

My daughter is about to hit the 16 month mark. She is not saying any words, and barely has any consonants. When we ask her to say a word, for example, "fan" or "push" or "cat", her response is almost always "ah ba". It seems as if she is trying hard to mimic our words, but the same "ah ba" or some combination of that comes out instead. She seems to understand most of what we say. Our pedi and myself highly suspect Childhood Apraxia, and have started the intake process through the Regional Center. Does anyone else have a child with Apraxia and/or have experience with speech therapy, both private and state-run? Would love to hear any and all advice and experiences any of you have had. I'm in need of your wisdom!
Thanks in advance!

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answers from San Francisco on

16 mos. is a little early I think. My very good friends DD just got diagnosed and she's 3 1/2. The Regional Center I don't think will tell you this early, I believe they will just work with her speech delay. My son also started speech therapy at the Regional Center and we LOVE IT!

I know Kaiser Oakland has a speech therapy program for Apraxia (that's where my friends Daughter goes)

I wish you the very best! we have been in speech now for almost 3 yrs

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answers from Honolulu on

My son, had a speech delay. Not Dysphagia or Apraxia. Just a speech delay.
Anyway, thru our local Early Childhood Intervention agency, he got a full developmental assessment and it was free. I didn't need a Pediatrician referral. I just called them myself. Then my son was assessed, and we got him speech therapy, which was also free. And they come to your home.
Nothing was 'wrong' with my son and he was even assessed as being advanced per his age, in several areas. But, he was speech delayed.

My son LOVED it, as did I.
It is wonderful.
Our Speech Therapist was great!

My son had this from 19 months old, until almost 3 years old. The services are for kids, up to 3 years old.

There are many kinds of Apraxia. It is a motor planning disorder and can affect eating too.
Anyway, ONLY a developmental Professional, can assess your child properly. NOT the Pediatrician.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Good for you that you are being proactive! Childhood apraxia is treatable through speech therapy, but it does take quite a while.

Just FYI... most of the "state run" therapists ARE private therapists that bill the state. My suggestion would be to go through the Early Intervention process and then supplemnent if needed through your insurance!

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answers from Dallas on

I agree with Krista. I used to work in early childhood intervention and most of our speech therapists were excellent.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My 4 yr old son has Apraxia and goes to speech therapy at a local children's hospital. I'm not sure what your state offers, but I also recommend going through early intervention. They provide free therapy till age three and then will help you get assistance through public schools. My son has come so far in just 2 years.( He was diagnosed around age 2. He now goes to a preschool program where he gets 1.5 hrs of services per week. Additionally, we take him to .5 hr on our own (our insurance covers this...thank goodness--it is $350.00 for the half hour!!) A great website to check out is www.apraxia-kids.org. There is a ton of good info and good resources. Good luck. She will overcome it with lots of hard work...for both of you. I know how hard it is to watch your child struggle with something that should be so natural.

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answers from San Francisco on

Our younger son, now almost 6 yr. was diagnosed w/a speech delay at 2 yrs. He was intially assessed thru a regional center & had speech at home. Once he was 3 yrs, he was re-assessed & received speech therapy thur a program offered thru our local school district. Since he's in K, he now gets it at school. We were very pleased w/both programs & saw great progress. Now, most people are shocked when I say he ha a speech delay. We tried private for a briefly but it was very pricey & not covered by our insurance. So, I aso sugggest you go thru your local regional center. One thing thta really helped our son was we started him in preschool right after he was diagnosed. It really helped him to be around other kids his age who were talking. So, you might want to get your daughter involved in some playgroups w/kids her age or even look into preschool.

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answers from San Francisco on

I think you're on the right track, contacting the regional center to access early start services. One thing I would recommend regardless of whether or not she is eligible for services, is to ask the speech therapist and other professionals what YOU can do at home, to help you child's speech development. Can you get her to imitate you making funny sounds or faces? Can you stimulate her oral/facial muscles with any exercises etc. 16 months is a little early because the range of "typical" development is very wide at that age. If the REgional Center determines that she is NOT eligible for services be sure to have her checked again by your school district when she is turning 3. Parents Helping Parents is a good Bay Area resource. www.php.com

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answers from Cincinnati on

No disrespect, but at 16 months, that is way too young to make assumptions! She is in the babble stage and there is nothing abnormal about a 16 month old not saying words. Please relax and enjoy your baby! In a year, sure you may have concern if nothing has changed.



answers from San Francisco on

My son is now 9, but was a very slow talker. We started him in speech therapy at 2 1/2 (the state funded program, don't remember the name) and then transitioned to private therapy at 3. A developmental pediatrician and the private speech therapist both thought he might have apraxia when we made the transition at age 3. However, within 6 months of the private therapy, he made an amazing change and was talking like a champ (albeit with many pronunciation problems)! We still continued private therapy (and a public pre-school speech program through our school district) until he was about 5. Huge benefits. I would highly recommend doing speech therapy early and often. Our speech therapist was Deborah Swain. She is here locally in Santa Rosa, which is too far away for you in San Ramon, but you might call her to see if she can give you a referral if need be. We did switch to Dr. Swain from another therapist who was not effective.

Don't give up! There is definitely hope!



answers from Sacramento on

My daughter wasn't saying anything at 18 months. Rarely did she make a peep. My family kept saying, "she doesn't want to talk, she'll talk when she's ready". But I felt that she needed help. She would kind of stare at us like she knew what we were saying, but just couldn't respond. The pediatrician had her hearing tested and from there she went to the Regional Center for treatment, which was free at the time and through the state. She spent a year in speech therapy, going once a week for an hour. She was evaluated at 3 years old and given the green light to be in regular preschool. They do have special programs for those that need it, but after the age of 3 the school district takes over. She is now 4 and enrolled in preschool. A few words are hard to understand when she mumbles and she is very shy, but she's just like any other child now. Good for you for involving your pediatrician and getting her the help she needs.

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