Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

The last week in April our SLP re-evaluated Jake and gave him the Kauffman Speech Praxis Test and the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation. Although the test anxiety for Lil’ Man and myself has subsided a lot since that first official test back in September, it’s still a pretty nerve-wracking experience. It’s odd to me how Jake instinctively knows when his words and errors start equaling a test grade. His mood instantly changes even though in my opinion, the words don’t look or feel any different from a regular day at speech.

He and I both felt every single minute of those two thirty-minute sessions and even though he can’t express his feelings though words yet, after every single word he spoke, he said, “Ready now?” In Jake’s world this means, “Are we done yet? I want to play that game sitting in front of me.”

Like all of our other apraxia challenges, we survived, and I wanted to document Jake’s speech status at 3 years and 7 months old …

Test #1 – The Kauffman test results required a little extra brain power on my part. As stated in Jake’s assessment, “Scores falling between 85 and 115 are considered to be within the average range. Scores are obtained both in comparison to a ‘normal’ population of children without speech impairments and a ‘disordered’ population of children with speech impairments.” Results were as follows:

  • “Child’s ability to execute oral movements” (stick out tongue, move tongue side-to-side, etc.) – Normal on both scales.
  • Ability to produce simple sounds & words (i.e.- Sounds he’s been working on for the past six months) – “Below norms” on the normal scale & 85 on the disordered scale. Although I was disheartened to see that he is at the bottom of the disordered scale, I am happy to report that this score has increased from a 38 when he last took the test on 11/11/11. Pretty significant improvement – Goooo Jake!
  • He’s still having trouble saying /p/ and /t/ correctly.
  • Majority of sounds are pronounced correctly when at the end of a word, but not at the beginning.
  • Two-syllable words with the same beginning consonant  have been mastered (mama, daddy, baby, puppy, etc.).
  • He struggles when the consonants in two-syllable words are different (Paddy, money, table, etc.).
  • “Exhibited assimilation of /n/ in many words.” (i.e.- He uses /n/ in words that do not have a /n/ sound. Adversely, he has a hard time pronouncing that same sound in “official” /n/ words).
Test #2 – The Goldman Fristoe test results were easier for me to understand because the score scale is the same across the board for all children (85-115). Kids are graded based on the amount of errors they produce. Results were as follows:
  • Jake scored a 75, which both Ms. Kelly & I thought was pretty good considering what we’re up against.
  • Jake’s speech is right at a two-year-old level, which I thought was an accurate assessment. On 9/8/11, just one day before his third birthday, this same test revealed that he was speaking on a 10-month-old level. Again, steady steps forward in an eight month period.
  • This test was interesting to me because our SLP noted that “Jake’s errors were often inconsistent which is consistent with a diagnosis of verbal apraxia.” She proved this point by comparing the sound that he was supposed to say versus what sound he actually produced. She further broke it down into what the different errors were in the “initial, medial, and final position” of the words. I bring this up because when I got this test done at public school back in September, this break down was not included. It was interesting (and scary) to me to see how truly scrambled his errors are.

Our SLP went over the test results and also gave me a copy for our records. She also went over his goals for the next six months. We are basically going to keep working on the same sounds, but working extra hard on /p/, /t/, and /n/ words. Additionally, we are going to work towards getting 70% accuracy on some new sounds like /f/,/l/,/z/, and /s/. If all goes well, we’re even going to try to tackle /s/ blends.

Finally, I can breathe a long sigh of relief because another test is behind us. When I sit and read the test results and hear them explained, I kind of, but not fully comprehend them. It helps for me to write it out and let it sink in. Also, our SLP is very detailed and does a great job of explaining it all.

One thought on “Age Three: Apraxia Evaluation Tests

  1. So glad to read about what fantastic improvements Jake is making…Yay Jake! Of course I firmly believe that this is a direct result of all your hard work…well done mom 🙂

    I was interested to read about the inconsistent errors. Each time my two apraxia kids were tested the SLPs would make such a big issue of these inconsistent and unusual errors……I often wondered why they thought it was so odd because I thought inconsistent errors were an indication of apraxia!

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