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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is one session of speech pathology a week week enough?

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    Serving the interests of children and young people with childhood language and related disorders View Profile

    The short answer is no. The main deficit in childhood Apraxia of Speech is the child’s ability to plan and execute movements for speech. Research in the area of cognitive motor learning suggests that motor learning involves acquiring the ability for producing skilled actions, and occurs through practice. One of the most agreed upon factors that affect motor learning is the necessity for repetitive practice. That is why your therapist may suggest shorter, more frequent sessions rather than one longer session per week, as well as daily home practise. If frequent therapy is not an option, then short daily bursts of home practise are essential to consolidate the motor patterns learnt and to extend on these skills.
     
    Resources:
    www.apraxia-kids.org

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    Rachel Tosh

    Speech Pathologist

    Rachel is a speech pathologist specialising in speech, language, literacy and feeding therapy with more than 10 years of experience. Her aim is to help … View Profile

    Motor learning research for childhood apraxia of speech (as well as for other types of apraxia) have all indicated that frequent, short practice sessions are most effective. Different children will require different frequency and session duration for optimal progress though so it is best to discuss it with your therapist and agree on a plan that will suit your family, schedule and budget whilst optimising your child's opporutnities for speech development. I find for some of my families who cannot afford more frequenct session or it is difficult to travel in to the clinic any more than weekly (I work in a rural area) it can be useful to set up a system with weekly therapy sessions supplemented by multiple daily home practice sessions (eg 3 times daily). Ideally if you can attend more frequent therapy sessions though it will be far better for your child's progress.

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