Jake's Journey with Apraxia

And the Friends We Met Along the Way

For the past couple of weeks, Jake has been spending his time in speech therapy doing our favorite thing … test taking. I don’t know who hates it more – me or him – but, these speech tests always have both of us squirming.

It’s our one year anniversary with Ms. Kelly and we have seen Jake’s speech grow by leaps and bounds in twelve months time. Although it has only been fourteen months since Jake got diagnosed with apraxia, it feels like forever ago.

I wanted to share our test results not only to document Jake’s progress with apraxia, but also to encourage new moms who have just been handed this diagnosis. A little over a year ago, at three years of age, Jake was speaking on a ten month old level. Ten months old! That test result left me shell-shocked to say the least.

While we still have much more work ahead of us, all of it is getting easier now … speech therapy at home, not feeling so devastated when I hear other kids his age or younger with stellar speech, the marathon weeks, and juggling speech and diet with the rest of my family.

Essentially, we’ve gotten into a routine that is finally starting to feel a lot like normal life. And best of all, we are beating apraxia … one word and one sound at a time.

Jake was tested three times over the past year:

  • Nov. 2011 – 3.2 years old
  • April 2012 – 3.7 years old
  • Nov. 2012 – 4.1 years old

Lil’ Man took three tests this past time and all have an average scoring range from 85 to 115. The following are the results:

Test #1 – Kauffman Speech Praxis Test (KSPT)

* Scores listed below in order from youngest age to present. *

* Scores are obtained both in comparison to a ‘normal’ population of children without speech impairments and a ‘disordered’ population of children with speech impairments. *

1.) Oral Movement Level (Ability to stick out tongue, move tongue side-to-side, etc.): 

  • Normal Scores – 99 / 110 / 106
  • Disordered Scores – 107 / 111 / 111

2.) Simple Phonemic/Syllabic Level (Ability to produce simple sounds & words):

  • Normal Scores – Below norms / Below norms / 11
  • Disordered Scores – 38 / 85 / 96

3.) Complex Phonemic/Syllabic Level (Ability to produce complex sounds & words):

  • Normal Scores – Not tested because of skill level / 42 / 29
  • Disordered Scores – Not tested because of skill level / 81 / 96

Test #2 – Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation – Second Edition (GFTA-2)

* Jake did not take this test in November of 2011.*

1.) April 2012 – 3.7 years old

  • Standard Score: 75
  • Percentile: 7
  • Speech age equivalent: 2.0 years

2.) Nov. 2012 – 4.1 years old 

  • Standard Score: 79
  • Percentile: 10
  • Speech age equivalent: 2.5 years

When you see that in six months his score just went up a few points, I wanted to clarify that as a child gets older, more is expected out of them. In other words, a test score of 75 that a 3.5-year-old makes is not equivalent to a 75 that a 4-year-old makes. Therefore, Jake is steadily gaining on it and our SLP now feels that he has “mild apraxia.” Yay! Also, in the grand scheme of things, Jake went from talking on a 10-month-old level to a 2.5-year-old level is just over a year’s time … we’ll take it.

Test #3 – Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool (CELF-2)

I didn’t like this test because I felt it was a lot like taking a Calculus test if you are in General Math. I thought the pictures were outdated. (What child knows what a newspaper is anymore?) and I thought it was very hard. Actually, I was wishing I had a vallum about two minutes into it. I also didn’t like the long sentences Jake was supposed to recite. A couple of sentences in, he hit his head in frustration saying, “I can’t say that!” I felt like out of the gate, his confidence was stomped. In the past I have said that Jake is speaking in sentences, but he’s really more in between phrases and sentences. For example, if he’s supposed to say, “The girl played ball with her sister Lisa,” he would probably say, “Girl play ball Lisa” and miss a few sounds here and there, but still be understandable.

Jake didn’t take this test in April and in November of last year, he only took one part, so these are his most recent results:

  • Core Language Score: 84 with percentile of 14
  • Receptive Language Index: 85 with a percentile of 16
  • Expressive Language Index: 81 with a percentile of 10


9 thoughts on “Age Four: Apraxia Evaluation Tests

  1. Tara says:

    Once again … I can only thank you from the bottom of my heart for being so open and honest about your journey … It’s been a horribly challenging week with my little man … and your post has made me stop crying for the first time in an hour 🙂 You and Jake give the rest of us MUCH needed hope 🙂 You guys should go celebrate this weekend!!!!!! WAY TO GO JAKE & MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (from Tara in Savannah, GA)

  2. tstarmom says:

    You are so sweet and just remember, age 2-3 is the most difficult for us mamas! It will get better I promise. You’re right – we should celebrate this weekend. I hope the weather is nice there like it is here. Good weather for a fire and red wine! 🙂

  3. Rowan says:

    Hi Tara,
    Just wondering why the tests are necessary? – and isn’t it kind of irrelevant to test a child with Apraxia against children with normal speech or even a ‘speech disorder’? – I was of the understanding that Apraxia was a spectrum disorder – so the only useful test would be against himself, as in to track his progress.

    My little one has severe apraxia – is 2.5 and very few sounds. Tests dont get us any more services where we live as we have to do private therapy and I personally just wouldn’t even go there, I see no point in them. For example, she NEVER would speak like at 10.5 months old! – her speech is disordered, NOT delayed.

    I love to read your blog – you are such an inspiration! You are doing a great Job with Jake, and he seems to be making huge progress. Keep it in perspective though. The tests dont really mean anything…it’s the day to day progress of Jake that is relevant.

    Take care

    1. tstarmom says:

      Rowan- When Jake was 2.5 years old, we didn’t test him on a regular basis either. He also didn’t have an apraxia diagnosis at that time though. Once he started producing more words and sounds, our SLP started testing him every 6 months to monitor his progress. Also every 6 months she creates new goals based on what his test results show. Testing is not fun and I do not like it, but I don’t really know how to get out of it! 🙂 Also, since Jake is 4 and will be starting school soon, I do want to know how he compares with kids who have normal speech. It helps me have a better idea of how much more work we have ahead of us. Best of luck to you and your little one!

  4. mamajoyx9 says:

    That is really very spectacular progress!!!!! You’re so good at documenting what you’re doing – it’s great to see the results so objectively documented as well.

    Noah’s speech therapist is just now getting enough sounds out of him to start thinking about doing these types of assessments, but hopefully she’ll do one soon – I think he’s ready.

    Thanks for the head’s up!


  5. mamajoyx9 says:

    PS thanks for adding me to your blog roll! Very cool – and I’m off to do the same (I’m slow coming up to speed on that).

  6. Awesome! I don’t have experience with the testing. DS has only been in ST a couple months and we are really starting to see progress.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. tstarmom says:

      Haven’t heard from you in a while! So happy to hear you don’t have experience with testing. Lucky you! 🙂 I didn’t know you started blogging. Just checked your site out for a bit and bookmarked so I can go back and read more. Glad you’re seeing progress. We just started with a new SLP so I’m hoping the change will do Jake good. Take care!

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