I want to stress how important it is to teach your child to read. There are parents reading this right now who have children with apraxia of Speech. I’ll say it again. Teach your child to read. There are parents reading this right now who have children on the spectrum. Teach your child to read. Every parent out there. Teach your child to read. I’ll tell you why. Children with Apraxia of speech have a hard time coordinating the sounds in their mouths to produce words. Additionally, they may have problems coordinating the words into the sentence itself or their thoughts to even make a sentence that represents what they are feeling & trying to say. What reading a sound or a word or a sentence does….is give a map for the mouth to go by. It enables speech to happen by helping the mouth motor plan without thinking. It allows the movement to become automatic. It’s a visual. A plan. And even if a child with apraxia can not speak, they can still communicate if they can read. Because if they can read they can spell. They may or may not be able to write. But typing is always an option and there are other ways of spelling out sentences too.
A child on the spectrum can benefit from the ability to read also even if they are verbal. Sometimes it is easier to write down feelings or conversations on paper than speak them in real time. Words can get jumbled with speech. Writing them down gives you the availability to erase them.
Giving your child the ability to read is empowering them with the ability to effectively communicate with nearly anyone. Sign language is wonderful but is limited to those who understand it. Augmentative communication is fantastic but if you forget your machine or if it’s not available neither are your words.
I wrote a post a few months back of some suggestions to kick start reading. If nothing else simply reading to your child will be a great prerequisite to learning. You can read that blog post here: Speech Ideas.
Anyway, wanted to share those words of wisdom as they are not the first thing you think of when it comes to talking. Reading comes after talking in a general sense. But sometimes reading is the key to talking out loud. Realize that there are worlds of thought in the minds that can’t release them with words as easily as those with that ability. Teach them to read. Let those worlds become their reality. Good luck. Xx