Archive for the ‘Apraxia’ Category

Sensory Time for Toddlers!

Sometimes on those less sunny days, or just when you are looking for an activity to do, sensory activities are the way to go. The Nurture Store has incredible ideas for fun sensory play ideas with toddlers! Try some of these AWESOME indoor sensory activities with your toddlers and let us know what you think!!


Posted by on July 7th, 2014 Comments Off on Sensory Time for Toddlers!


Adaptive Tricycles and Bicycles

Now that summer is coming, it is a great opportunity to get outside and get some exercise! Look at adaptive trikes and bikes to make a successful trip around the neighborhood or to the park! Most include seat belts and handles to create a safe trip for both parents and children. The Special Needs website states: “Special needs tricycles and bicycles are available to accommodate a vast array of special needs. Hand-pedaled recumbent tricycles make it possible for those without the use of their legs. Children, teens and adults with cerebral palsy and similar disorders can select tricycles specially designed to increase strength and coordination. Caregivers to autistic children can ride with their child on tandem special needs tricycles built to accommodate one adult and one child rider.” Check out the Special Needs website for more information! You can also purchase training wheels and helmets!   toddler amtryke - thumb-01adultseries2700-thumb-21 riftonLargeTrike-thumb

Posted by on June 19th, 2014 Comments Off on Adaptive Tricycles and Bicycles


Apps for Apraxia of Speech

Since we listed a few apps for children with autism (check it out HERE!), here are a few for children who have apraxia of speech!

Try them out and let us know what you think!

  • Articulation Scenes – This app contains over 1200 practice words all centered around a cinema theme. It was created by a speech language pathologist and has a variety of engaging and fun activities for kids to try!
  • Apraxia Ville – This particular app is for children with more severe to profound speech sound disorders and for childhood apraxia of speech. This app targets both consonant and vowel sounds and you can also customize the  structure of the word to work on your specific target.
  • Articulate It! – This app is fantastic for working on speech sounds and articulation delays. It is designed for multiple players (up to 6) and is the perfect tool for both parents and speech pathologists.
  • Match2Say – This is a matching game used to work on children’s pronunciation skills. Adults can also use this app!
  • Smart Oral Motor – This app provides practices for mouth positions in order to correctly articulate words. For adults AND children, this app benefits those with apraxia of speech and speech sound disorders.
  • Speech Trainer 3D – This app actually provides a 3D image form the front and the side on how your mouth should look when you are making certain sounds. Designed by a speech language pathologist, it is a perfect visual for people with apraxia of speech.

Posted by on June 11th, 2014 Comments Off on Apps for Apraxia of Speech


Calming Fidget Toys

Does your child fidget a lot? Sometimes all a child needs is the appropriate input to satisfy their sensory needs. Even “silent” tools that your child can use in the classroom, in the car, or while waiting. Check out some of these GREAT sensory, fidgeting toys from the Therapy Shoppe!

Calming fidget toys and occupational therapy sensory tools can be very effective sensory diet self-regulation tools for home, travel, school classrooms, the office… just about anywhere! Help prevent meltdowns, keep fingers busy, minds focused, and bodies relaxed with all the extraordinary calming fidgets toys and sensory tools from the Therapy Shoppe®!

Also, think about a spinner ring!! Age-appropiate while also helping to keep the hands busy!

Here are a few AWESOME examples:


O Ball


Fidgeting Foot Band


Sensory Gel Pad


Chewy Pencil Toppers


Posted by on May 12th, 2014 Comments Off on Calming Fidget Toys


Social Skills

Social skills are a very important skill to acquire and something we work on everyday here at CLASS Inc.! While we do work on social skills in individual sessions, we also offer play groups and social groups to improve your child’s social skills and interactions with other children.

Skills You Need describes social skills as “Social skills are the skills we use to communicate and interact with each other, both verbally and non-verbally, through gestures, body language and our personal appearance. Human beings are sociable creatures and we have developed many ways to communicate our messages, thoughts and feelings with others.”

There are many ways to work on social skills with your child. National Autism Resources has a multitude of materials available to work on strengthening a child’s social skills and building social success. Working on social skills can happen anywhere, at the dinner table, during your morning routine, and even in the car on the way to school. Find what works for your child and start building social success!!

Social Skills Materials from National Autism Resources:




Posted by on May 8th, 2014 Comments Off on Social Skills


Toys that Encourage Speech Development

This post onTwodaloo is spot on with their recommendations of toys that encourage speech and language development! At CLASS Inc., we use toys that encourage the children to take turns and create a social aspect, such as asking a question. Here are some of Twodaloo’s simple guidelines when picking out toys for your children:

  • Sturdy and well-made – eco-friendly is even better!

  • Relatively open-ended and versatile; you want toys that can be used in a variety of ways over time.


  • Related to meaningful, familiar experiencesfor your child (i.e. everyday role play like feeding, bathing, dressing)

  • Encourages reciprocal social interaction (toys that are fun to play with a partner or group)

Here are a couple of the toys listed on their website (that we love here at CLASS Inc. as well!) that may work really well for you and your family:

Farm Set: The topic possibilities are endless for with this toy. You can discuss animals, animal sounds, talking between the farmers, growing vegetables and setting up the farm. Have fun with it!







Blocks: Blocks are so simple and yet have SO MANY opportunities for communication. Social topics can include collaboration, team building, turn taking, shape recognition, and problem solving.


Posted by on April 24th, 2014 Comments Off on Toys that Encourage Speech Development


Fun Spring WH- Questions Game

With Spring in full swing, discuss this season with your child while working on their WH- question answer gin skills. All you need are dice and two markers to play! Get the FREE printable of the board game below here!








Also be sure to check out our WH- question post from earlier this month on how to work on how to appropriately answer WH- questions!

Posted by on April 17th, 2014 Comments Off on Fun Spring WH- Questions Game


Answering “WH” Questions

Answering any kind of “WH” questions (who, what, where, when) can be challenging for a child in the earlier years of language development. It is mainly important to talk with your children about the appropriate responses to “WH” questions. For example, a “when” question refers to time (yesterday, tomorrow, 5:00pm, etc). A “who” question refers to people or characters in a story. Using a visual chart like the one below can be very helpful. Before starting a “WH” question activity with your child, go over the chart together and really explain the difference. Repetition is key!








Understanding how to properly answer questions from other is a great skill to work on with your children throughout the day without making it seem like work. This will also in turn help your child understand how to properly ask questions and learn turn-taking skills.

Posted by on April 1st, 2014 Comments Off on Answering “WH” Questions


Apraxia 101

Apraxia is a motor speech planning disorder that has many characteristics and treatment strategies. Below are some differences that we see in apraxia explained by Look at the website for more information and resources regarding apraxia.

Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia or Developmental Apraxia of Speech?

  • These two terms are generally synonymous. Developmental verbal dyspraxia is often shortened to “DVD” and developmental apraxia of speech to “DAS”. The ‘a’ in “apraxia” stands for absence and ‘dye’ in dyspraxia stands for partial. Thus, apraxia is absence of speech and dyspraxia is used by some to indicate some speech ability. “Praxis” indicates difficulty executing skilled movements. However, more recently Childhood Apraxia of Speech is the preferred term for describing apraxia of speech in children.

Oral Apraxia and/or Verbal Apraxia?

  • Oral apraxia indicates that the child has difficultly with volitional control of on speech movement. For instance, perhaps the child will have difficulty sticking out and wagging their tongue when requested to do so. Of the child may have difficulty sequencing movements for the command, “Show me how you kiss, now smile, now blow”. Verbal apraxia indicates that level sounds, syllables, words, or even phrases (connected speech). The motor struggle is most typically seen with sounds sequencing.
  • Often oral apraxia accompanies verbal apraxia, but that is not always the case. Speech and language pathologists have mentioned that is is very rare and fairly unheard of for a child to have oral apraxia without verbal apraxia/dyspraxia.

Volitional – What does that mean?

  • In the course of discussing apraxia, as we have above, you will note the use of the word “volitional”. The meaning of this word in relationship to apraxia/dyspraxia of speech means that the child is experiencing the difficulty in nonspeech and speech movement when they are very consciously aware of trying to make movements or they are attempting movements when requested by others. Those same movements, sounds, etc. may be heard while the child is busy playing or he/she just seems to blurt out when no one is really paying attention or trying too hard. As an example, the child may be playing happily and parents may hear sounds being made – almost without thought – “ma, ma, ba, ma,da”.
  • However, when the parents attempt to get the child to use those sounds – “Say Mama!”- the child is unable to do so. In many cases one can see the struggle on the child’s face. They may grope with their lips or silently posture their lips as if searching for the position they need. One minute they could do it (when not thinking about it or attempting the task) and the next minute it is an intense struggle (they are now aware of the request and are trying to will their mouths to make those movements – volitional control).

“Pure” Apraxia of Speech:

  • What is meant by “pure” apraxia of speech is that no other speech, language, cognitive, or sensory issues coexist with the deficit of impaired sequencing for volitional speech (apraxia). The professional literature tells us that “pure” apraxia of speech in children is rare, that most often apraxia is associated with other speech, language, cognitive, and/or sensory issues.
  • Associated issues might not be apparent in a young child. This is especially true in children who are young preschoolers. For instance, these children may not have any apparent problem with receptive language according to traditional and typical assessment. However, the child may begin to experience difficulty when entering kindergarten, when the language processing demands of the setting are heightened. It would not be unusual to then identify higher level language processing problems. Parents and professionals will do well to be vigilant about the child’s total development to insure that, should an associated area of difficulty arise, help for the child will be readily available.

Posted by on March 20th, 2014 Comments Off on Apraxia 101


Tantrums vs. Meltdowns

Parents with children of all different disabilities might experience a tantrum and/or a meltdown at some point. It is, however, very important to note that there is indeed a difference. Thus, effecting the way you may handle the situation. Take a look at these facts from

1. During a melt down, a child with autism does not look or care, if those around him are reacting to his behavior. A child having a tantrum will look to see if their behavior is getting a reaction.

2. A child in the middle of a meltdown does not consider their own or others safety. A child in the middle of a tantrum takes care to be sure they won’t get hurt.

3. A child in the meltdown mode has no interest or involvement in the social situation. A child who throws a tantrum will use the social situation to their benefit.

4. Meltdowns seem to move along under their own power and wind down slowly. With a tantrum, it will end suddenly when the situation is resolved.

5. A melt down gives the feeling that no one is in control. A tantrum will give you the feeling that the child is in control, although they are pretending they are not.

6. The meltdown usually begins when a specific want has not been permitted and after a point, nothing can satisfy the child until the meltdown has run its course. A tantrum is thrown to achieve a specific goal and once the goal is met, things return to normal.

Now knowing the characteristics of meltdowns as opposed to tantrums, it is important to know how to handle the situation. Autism-Causes gives the following suggestion:

  • When your child launches into the meltdown, remove them from any areas that could harm them or they could harm. Try to avoid having objects at hand to throw at people. Try to separate them from other people. Avoiding injury is the top priority during the meltdown. Don’t try to reason with them. They aren’t listening and too much talking just adds to their sensory overload. There will be plenty of time to discuss it after they calm down.

Posted by on February 27th, 2014 Comments Off on Tantrums vs. Meltdowns