If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with apraxia of speech (often referred to as apraxia), we understand that it can be a daunting challenge at first. The frustration of struggling to communicate how you want to might sometimes feel overwhelming. But here’s the good news: progress can be made with apraxia, and Constant Therapy supports you on your journey to reclaim speech after an apraxia diagnosis! Read on to learn more about apraxia and about the top 3 apraxia exercises in the Constant Therapy app that can help you or a loved one living with apraxia.
Apraxia of speech is a type of motor speech disorder caused by disruptions in the brain’s ability to control the muscles used in speech production. While the muscles of speech production work the way they should, the brain has difficulty controlling their movements. Apraxia can have various causes, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, and other neurological conditions, and it can range in severity from more mild cases in which individual sounds may be changed or distorted to more severe cases in which a person can have difficulty even producing sound. Generally, though, apraxia leads to difficulty initiating and sequencing sounds in speech, and to inconsistent errors in speech production.
So, you might be wondering: how do you treat apraxia? Treating apraxia involves considering several important aspects of care to ensure each patient receives an appropriate treatment program.
Don’t forget: each step in your treatment journey brings you closer to where you want to be!
Now that we’ve covered the aspects of an effective treatment program, you might be curious: where does Constant Therapy fit in? How can this program help me with my apraxia? Well, Constant Therapy has an extensive library of exercises to help with all sorts of communication difficulties, including apraxia!
So, let’s dive right in and talk about three game-changing apraxia exercises in the Constant Therapy app: Imitate Words, Imitate Active Sentences, and Imitate Passive Sentences. Each exercise aligns with the aspects of effective apraxia treatment we discussed earlier. Namely, they all provide ample repetition, offer visual examples of targeted words and sentences, and progress along a continuum to keep you moving steadily toward your communication goals. Read on to find out more about each apraxia exercise!
In this exercise, you’ll be given a visual example of a person saying your target word; your task is to repeat it into your device’s microphone.
Here’s a neat feature: there’s a sound meter to ensure you’re speaking loudly enough, which can be helpful for certain individuals with apraxia.
After you’ve given imitating the target word your best shot, Constant Therapy’s programming provides instant feedback on your accuracy. Plus, the app will repeat the word again for you to hear after!
For example, let’s say your target word was “fork.” In the Constant Therapy app, you’ll see a video of someone saying “fork,” and you’d then repeat the word into the microphone. Constant Therapy will then let you know how you did and repeat “fork” one last time, giving you another chance to hear the word produced correctly. It’s like having a coach right there with you, providing feedback and encouragement. Remember: each attempt is a step closer to your speech goals!
Once you’ve mastered “Imitate Words,” you may be ready to take it up a notch with “Imitate Active Sentences” and “Imitate Passive Sentences.” Don’t worry: the process is just like “Imitate Words,” except you’ll be working with sentences now! You’ll still be provided with a visual example of your target sentence, which will be an active or passive sentence. Then, you’ll be prompted to imitate the target sentence into the sound level meter and, afterward, receive feedback on your accuracy. Don’t be disheartened if it takes you a while to get the hang of it—imitating full sentences instead of single words is harder to do!
When you’re repeating an active sentence, you’ll be imitating sentences that describe what a person or thing is doing—for example, “I go to the store to buy some milk.” On the other hand, when you’re repeating a passive sentence, you’ll be imitating sentences where a form of the verb “to be” is used to show that something is happening to someone or something— for example, “The guitar is played by him.” Constant Therapy gives you the chance to practice both sentence types to improve your communication skills and build your speech confidence.
Living with apraxia might feel like an uphill battle, but progress is indeed possible—and you’re not alone in this! At Constant Therapy, we celebrate each step forward you take and are here to help with evidence-based apraxia exercises that can help you improve your communication and conquer your speaking-related goals.
If you have any questions about how these exercises may fit into your speech therapy program or if you’re considering trying speech therapy for the first time, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local speech-language pathologist (SLP). They can provide valuable guidance, help you navigate any questions, and be a source of support throughout your journey.
And don’t forget: Constant Therapy is here to help you get the most out of your apraxia exercises in the Constant Therapy app, with live customer assistance every Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-888-233-1399, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Above all, be patient with yourself, and remember that each milestone (no matter how small it may seem at the time) is a testament to your strength and resilience. You’ve got the determination and courage to make remarkable progress—one step at a time!