Saturday, August 26, 2017

Apraxia Speech Therapy: Speech Pathologist Mentors Can be Friends

Apraxia Speech Therapy:  Speech Pathologist Mentors Can be Friends
Speech Pathologist Mentors can be Friends
 Friend and Mentor Armando Cruz
(A dog's friend also!)

This article addresses the fact that speech pathologist mentors can be friends even while doing apraxia speech therapy.  A few months ago an article about clients and patients of speech language pathologists, was written with the conclusion that many clients were considered “friends.” There was some flack from other speech language pathologists in the field, but it was soon quelled as the definition of what a friend was. As stated then, Webster defines a friend as a person whom you like and enjoy being with; a person who helps or supports someone or something; one attached to another by affection or esteem.

A Good Speech Language Pathologist Can Be Friend and Mentor

This article is different. Speech Pathology Mentors are those who communicate with you. They share information, they teach, advise, and express events of their lives that may help those with whom they speak. The Mentor I wish to write about today is a man of varied talents, and one who manages people. He is a physicist, salesman, corporate sales manager, husband, father, RVer, patron of the cinema, and just a friendly guy! He is very likable; even canines like him. He always has a pocket full of dog treats, even when he is wearing formal work attire!

Why should this article be about this mentor and fine human being? He is friendly, and always shares what he has: food he prepares, cigars and coctails occasionally consumed. He is always finding something that he thinks you would need or like when he goes shopping. Almost every time he visits, he comes bearing gifts for everyone; including (Jackie the dog). Quite a remarkable person, isn’t he? This person is always chuck full of information that he thinks might be beneficial for you, whether it is about finance, business, cooking, food, motorhomes (of which we have recently purchased), and the proper care and maintenance of them.

What is one of the most amazing things about having a Mentor and friend? The answer is that one’s life is greatly enriched by having a person such as Armando in your life. Learning occurs; communication is constant, and a truly meaningful relationship ensues. His excellent qualities just “rub off” on you. You also notice changes in the self, which include new beliefs, behaviors and attitudes that seem to have gotten in your head by osmosis.

What then happens other mentor-like relationships can develop. They develop because you have learned how valuable it is to have other people in your life. You soon develop new behaviors that are borrowed from others, like striking up conversations, and sharing what you have. What immediately happens is they find ways of sharing what they have with you, and the enrichment of your life and theirs increases. You find yourself changing and growing as a person, and stepping out of the old way of being.

Mentoring occurs in so many areas of life if you allow it. It first requires making a connection. A simple Hello will do! A simple comment about what you observe about others helps strike up the conversation. Many do not practice these little pointers, and life can be rather lonely and isolated. It does not have to be that way. I am speaking to those of us right now who are able to communicate, but choose not to when around others whom we do not know. Thank goodness for the internet for some who can not get out.

Those who have speaking difficulties tend to be isolated in the shadows, or what I have referred to as being in the closet of life. They need friends also. They need to speak with others and interact. For the verbal interaction in communication is one of the most treasured processes in living and can bring great joy. That is why The Teaching of Talking was written.   It is a book about how to help your loved one to speak in single words, phrases, and sentences, as long as they are stimulable. Stimulability is whether the person who has difficulty speaking can mimic or imitate vowels, words, phrases or sentences. Caregivers and family members are learning how to stimulate language at at home, and helping the person with difficulty speaking step away from the sheltered home environment of speaking to the external places in the community where they can communicate with others, whether cues are or are not needed.

Find a Speech Pathologist Who Can Be Friend and Mentor:  

Apraxia Speech Therapy

The point here is to take the step of communication interaction rather than not. People can be understanding and interactive when methods of speech and language stimulation are employed with the caregiver and person who has difficulty speaking.  Life can be so much better when a family member or caregiver learns how to stimulate language. When that occurs you are no longer dependent on outside sources, computers, or software to stimulate speech and language. You can do it anywhere, and you and your loved one can connect with others and say what you darn well please!  Contact a therapist to find out if you or a loved one could benefit from apraxia speech therapy mentoring.

Help Those with Apraxia Talk | The Tools of Matching and Mirroring

Helping Those With Apraxia Talk:  The Tools of Matching and Mirroring

Helping Those With Apraxia Talk:  The Tools of Matching and Mirroring
Matching and Mirroring
in Speech Therapy
Many speech therapists of those with apraxia do not address the actual apraxia, especially the severe variety because it's just too complicated and will take a long time to correct. Apraxia is  difficulty articulating the speech sounds because the tongue, teeth, and lips do not always go where they are supposed to.  The person with apraxia attempts to speak and the tongue does not follow the message sent from the brain.  This causes garbled speech.   The speech sounds that make up the words are omitted, distorted or replaced by other sounds.  The result of apraxia is difficulty understanding what the person with apraxia is saying since the sounds are not correctly produced.

However there are some short cuts that can help a family member or therapist help the person with apraxia talk.  It is called matching and mirroring.  We all know what matching is:  we match or duplicate a movement; we watch how somethng is done and then we match it just like what we see.
Mirroring is a similar maneuver, it requires that a person be directly in front of you as if you are looking into a mirror and matching exactly the movements that are seen and at the same time.  Matching and mirroring often helps those with apraxia talk.

As an example for apraxia, imagine you were awakened in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and you tried to get out of bed, and could not stand, or walk.  Your legs didn't hold the body upright and they could not move forward or backward.  And the result?  A fall.  The legs just did not obey the brain.  That is an apraxia.  The motor for the specific task is out of commission for activities such as walking or speaking due to the messages to the muscles and speech structures being out of synch.

Finding the Best Use of Time and Energy

The therapist must find a viable speech therapy for apraxia that will immediately lead to speaking clarity.  One way he or she does that is not to focus on traditional articulation, since it could take literally years to address, and often it is as much fun as watching paint dry!

Oral Motor Exercises Not Necessary if Given Within the Context of The Conversation

  • One approach to helping people talk who have apraxia is to make it simple.
  • Start out stimulating 2 words per utterance in conversation
  • Determine which speech sounds, especially the lingual or tongue sounds are affected.
  • Within the simple conversation of 2-3 words stimulate each word separately and determine if the person with apraxia can lift the tongue tip of the t, d, n, l, l blends, or sibilant s, the s blends, and sh and dj.

Often the Creative Therapist Can Improve the Apraxia with very Slow Speaking and Mirroring at very simple words, word pairs and phrases

It's alot of fun helping the person with apraxia talk, especially if it is done within a conversational framework.  Caregivers, spouses and family members are learning this approach and finding that speech does not have to be broken down to oral motor exercises or formal articulation therapy.  It can be quite easy if those who learn apraxia speech therapy can learn from an expert and be given the opportunity to practice under expert guidance.  Find out how you can learn how to help your loved one or client with apraxia through matching, and mirroring.

If you want to help your loved one or client with apraxia you must receive expert mentoring in order to learn the most efficient way.  There is no 1 approach that's fits all.  The best way to determine an approach to apraxia is by utilizing a speech pathology expert who understands the best ways to help people talk.

You can contact us today and get started by contacting us.    There is no substitute other than working with an expert.  You will learn that to be very true.  It takes time and attention.

Contact us today and we will arrange for a free get acquainted visit.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Apraxia SpeechTherapy Techniques for Adults with Apraxia

 Do you have a dream, or a desire to learn speech therapy techniques for apraxia?  Have you been unhappy with the way therapy is given, or the limited amount of therapy?  Have you been told your loved one plateaued and then discharged?  Do you wish to find a way to learn speech therapy techniques for apraxia?

There were two brothers who had a dream. Everyone looked at them and thought they were crazy. "No one has ever done that before!" everyone said. 
Apraxia Speech Therapy How to Help Your Loved One Talk
You can learn apraxia speech therapy techniques
for adults with apraxia and aphasia

But the brothers had an idea and a dream of what they wanted for the world and for mankind. No matter where they went they were ostracized for believing what they did.

There are many people with apraxia and aphasia who have been told they would never talk again. Some believed the sentence, while others just kept looking elsewhere.

There always seems to be a solution to a problem somewhere for those who are ready for it and are dedicated to having it.

Those with apraxia and aphasia have a better chance of learning to talk again if their loved one or caregiver learns what to do at home and does it throughout the day. The results are far better than conventional speech therapy especially if the caregiver has been trained in expert methods and helps them talk throughout the day; every day. Find out how you can start learning techniques to help adults and children talk better with apraxia.  Get started today!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How to Find Best Speech Therapist who Treats Adult Apraxia

Find The Best Speech Therapist who Treats Adult Apraxia
Find the Best Speech Therapist Who Treats Apraxia
Time is of the Essence

People want to know how to find the best apraxia speech therapist for their loved one with apraxia. Out of all the speech and language difficulties out there, apraxia speech therapy is one of the most difficult for the therapist to master. For many it has taken years of practice. Others never really master it.

Only when the therapist has been confronted by adults and children with apraxia and is forced to address their speaking difficulty, do they begin to understand how to improve it.


For many, it is the experiences in life that give us the knowledge of knowing what to do in particular situations.  Therapists are often grateful to their patients for giving them the opportunities to practice therapy.  Through trial and error the therapist begins to learn what works and what does not.  Some therapists or patients may give up with the frustration of trial and error.  There are others who are empowered when the results are not forthcoming.  They learn something from the lack of results and then go back and try again using a different approach. 


It's that trial and error learning that makes us all better at what we do.  It was said that Thomas Edison developed over 3,000 theories and experiments with the electric light that he wanted to perfect. Each time it failed, he learned something that would make the next attempt better.  The same principles apply in speech therapy for apraxia.  It's a tough nut to crack, and only the truly dedicated therapists are willing to stick around and figure it out.  However it takes a certain knowledge set, that some therapists have due to excellent training programs or their desire to independently read and study the problem.   There are others who do not have the patience and look for what appears to be the simplest communication solution. 

What Apraxia Is

Apraxia is a motor speech problem.  The motor that moves the tongue, lips, and palate does not work well.  Some believe there is a miscommunication or a breakdown that could be either temporary or permanent between the brain and the structure that needs to be moved.  Those with apraxia have difficulty moving their tongue, throat and lips. When they go to move them, the parts do not move the way they are directed.  Let's say I wanted you to raise your hand right now and I told you to do it.  Let's say you could not do it.  Then I might show you by lifting my arm and hand off my lap and lift them towards the sky. (test for limb apraxia)   Many with apraxia have extreme difficulty or can not initially move a structure when they are initially shown how. 

This is the problem those with apraxia, their therapists and caregivers face.  They are shown how to say a sound, and even when they are shown how, still can't do it.  When it happens over and over again, especially for a therapist who has little expertise with apraxia the first thought after numerous attempts is to give up and say "I've tried and we are going to have you use a talking machine or an AAC device.  (The path of least resistance.)  That usually leaves the patient and caregiver with frustration and defeat.  And anyway, who wants to use an i pads to say a word or "canned" phrase?  It's often confusing, sad, and devastating.


The good news is there are apraxia speech therapists who understand the condition of apraxia and have experience treating it.  There are some therapists who are experienced with apraxia, and know what to do.  It's often a matter of knowing or figuring it out.  Those who can't figure it out or don't want to reach for the AAC device or the i pad.  (Augmentative and Alternative Communication)

Apps are another concern.  They don't think, or problem solve and many are developed by therapists who might not fully appreciate the many techniques which can be used to help those with apraxia speak.  There is not one way to work with apraxia, and it is a condition that often has other complicating symptoms, like dysarthria slurred speech, or aphasia. There is just no singular approach to apraxia and many people are incorrectly diagnosed.   

The Solution For Those Who Want To Speak Again

1.  Find an apraxia speech therapist who understand apraxia, especially from the viewpoint of articulation theory.

2.  Do not settle for alternative or augmentative approaches to speaking such as apps or technology unless you have exhausted your search for an expert apraxia speech therapist to make a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.  

3.  Don't give up until you find the best apraxia speech therapist who can help you.  They may be difficult to find, but when you find the right one you will be glad you did.

Should you wish to speak with a therapist who understands apraxia and has years of experience contact us today.  E Mail Inquiries and we would be happy to correspond or talk with you.  

You can find out more about us by searching for on Facebook, or markaittleman on Twitter.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Apraxia Speech Therapy A Custom Approach to Better Speaking

Apraxia Speech Therapy for Better Speaking
Apraxia Speech Therapy
Requires a Customized Approach.
There is a special approach to better speaking for apraxia speech therapy.  It's also easier and simpler than the traditional approach which could take years and years to make any kind of significant improvement.

Many traditional methods for apraxia speech therapy are not successful.  Those with apraxia often have very complicated difficulties and have trouble moving their tongue, lips and throat to make accurate speech sounds.  Some therapists try traditional speech therapy for articulation, and that could take literally years.  Length of speech therapy skilled care has been dwindling and therefore the astute therapist must look at improving the clarity of speaking in a shorter period of time.  Therapists are looking for the
fastest way to make improvements in speaking.

Knowing that traditional speech therapy visits may be given over a relatively short period of time, we must realize that therapists just cannot make much progress when there are limited visits authorized  by the insurance companies.  That is why family members, spouses and loved ones are learning what to do for apraxia.

Apraxia Speech Therapy Methods Vary Greatly for Apraxia

Don't be fooled by software and companies that promise to help you speak better if you buy their software or apps.  Those materials can't really be of any significant help with a moderate to profound apraxia.  The diagnosis or label of apraxia does not mean that any specific method, sight unseen would be helpful to improve it.  In addition the diagnosis for apraxia is often made for a variety of symptoms and findings and does not often really describe the speaking problem or what to do in order to improve it.  

Apraxia Speech Therapy A Special Approach to Better Speaking

Since apraxia of speech is one of the most difficult speaking difficulties to overcome, the need for a speech therapist who is an expert in apraxia is necessary.  There is no one cure all method and therefore a therapist who has experience with apraxia can usually figure out the best approach.  Trust someone who has experience before you consider purchasing an app or software to guide you through steps to speaking improvement.  It just doesn't work that way.  Apps follow a single technique and a speaking difficulty like apraxia may need a variety of methods to best improve it.   

The Special Approach to Better Speaking for Apraxia?

Find a therapist who can teach you what to do at home; something that will be custom designed for the speech characteristics and difficulties of your loved one.  Locaste a therapist who is familiar with many approaches and that should speed up therapy time since they are experienced with apraxia and have often seen a great variety of cases.

The special approach to better speaking for apraxia is to find an expert to see your loved one and to teach you what to do at home for better speaking.  Would you like to talk with or be mentored by an experienced speech language pathologist?  Teaching of Talking

E Mail  Send us an e mail and that will start the process towards better speaking.  

Speech Therapy for Stroke : Myths and Truths

Speech therapy for stroke is no quick fix, and even with best methods, it often takes years to achieve successful speaking improvements.  Speech therapy for stroke is crucial for maximum speaking recovery.  Here are some of the myths and truths of speech therapy for stroke.

Speech Therapy for Stroke
Speech Therapy for Stroke
Requires Talking

Speech Therapy for Stroke:  Myths and Truths

1.  Speech therapy for strokes Myth:  Twice or Three Times a Week is Intensive.

Speech therapy twice or three times a week for a moderate to profound aphasia is bare-minimum.  Due to forgetting, and severity of most aphasias, speech and language therapy should be something that is done all through the day, preferably by spouse of family members.  Research has shown that families at home can get equal if not better speech recovery than therapy in the clinic due to all the hundreds of opportunities to help someone speak at home 24/7.

2.  Speech Therapy for Strokes Myth:  Work Sheets Help You Talk Better

Do worksheets help?  Any stimulation helps.  However if you want to get better at speaking one must do a lot of speaking and with another person.  That is where talking takes place; through the questions, answers and requests that are made among and between people.

3.  Speech Therapy for Strokes Myth:  It's the Speech Therapist's Job 

Speech therapists are like any professional.  There are therapists, and then there are THERAPISTS!  Each one is a separate person with varying degrees of experience, education, motivation and drive.  Just because a person is a therapist does not necessarily mean they are well qualitfied to work with your loved one.  That is why you should ask about their training and expertise.  Usually the more training and experience the better the result.   Do not leave the total responsibility for helping your loved one talk up to someone else?  No one knows how long a therapist will be able to work with you, so learn all you can so that you can help your loved one speak at home.  It has been shown that people with strokes and aphasia who have been trained to help them talk, actually make pretty good progress especially when they get intensive help speaking at home!

4. Speech Therapy for Strokes Myth: If I Go to an Aphasia Intensive, Maybe My Loved One Will Recover His/Her Speaking.  

Many aphasia intensives that are offered in various cities around the country are sponsored by colleges and Universities.  Intensives may offer students at Universities training in stroke and aphasia therapy.   They are costly and require the person with aphasia and spouse to come to the city, pay the admission for the intensive in addition to the travel expenses, meals and hotel costs.  Some University Programs are research based and are often highly interested in research and student training.

Due to affected memory retention, an aphasia intensive whether university or private based may initialy show some positive results, however with time what was covered or taught there becomes forgotten.  Many intensive programs do not train the caregivers, since the students or the research may be higher priority.  Family members are often dissapointed there was not enough spouse and family training for stroke and aphasia.  There are some exceptions to what is typically experienced.

These are just a few of the Myths and Truths about speech therapy for stroke.  There is myth and truths in all statements.  Be on the lookout for additional information that will help you become a more educated consumer of speech therapy services.

5.  Speech Therapy for Stroke: Truths

The major truth to share with you is the fact that family members, caregivers and spouses can and are perfectly able to learn expert methods to help your loved one talk at home.  Those who truly succeed are devoting their lives to better speaking, and it takes at least two people to talk.  Talking requires the process of asking and answering questions and making statements.  There is no technology that even comes close to benefit of the actual act of talking with another person for speaking improvement.  

Would you like to get started today learning to help your loved one talk at home?  Are you and your loved one committed to making the improvement of talking top priority?  If so, start learning to help your loved one or client TALK.  Teaching of Talking Online Video Training  Start today!