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"These children are our future...


"Children that are verbally apraxic have been misdiagnosed as autistic, or mentally retarded."  Lori Roth MS CCC SLP  from her interview on Inside Edition TV

 

 

Year after year it appeared that more and more children were being identified as "Late Talkers", or "Kids with Oral Motor difficulties".  Their articulation skills made them unintelligible or non-verbal.  Common sound substitution patterns were absent and though their hearing was within normal limits they could not successfully imitate even the easiest sound without numerous repetitions.  These kids with apraxia, the majority being extremely intelligent, obviously knew what they wanted, but in most cases could not make others, including their parents, understand their wishes.  Without alternative means of communication, this is a frustrating situation for everyone concerned, to say the least.  Though I helped the parents of the Preschool children I treated find information about apraxia/oral motor difficulties, I was always aware that quite a few of the local speech pathologists in the schools were also in need of assistance in this area.  This is the reason I developed and ran a workshop for therapists, hoping to assist them in treating these apraxic children when they entered kindergarten.

I have been a Speech Language Pathologist/ Oral Motor Specialist for over 25 years.  I love working with children, watching them grow (or out grow )and communicate their ideas with my help.  I love to see their smiles of accomplishment and their pleasure at success. For 11 years as Coordinator of Speech Services at the Summit Speech School, I worked with children who in addition to a hearing impairment were also struggling with oral motor difficulties.  As I adapted methods and created tasks which aided these children to produce speech sounds without necessarily hearing them, I became aware that these same activities could be applied to children who were "non-verbal".  Though the term verbal apraxia was not well known as a label for children with several common characteristics limiting their expressive ability, it was applied to adult stroke patients who no longer had the motor coordination skills due to damage to their brains.  How could this term be applied to children?  What were the similarities that led to this label for children and why were so many doctors, therapists, educators and parents unaware of this "disorder"?

I have always felt that the parents of the children I work with are part of my TEAM. Together we will help their children learn to produce the sounds, syllables and words necessary for communication.  It was this viewpoint that led to my introduction to the Children's Apraxia Network. I had visited the web site on two occasions but never attended a meeting until I was asked to join a panel of professionals May 1,2000.  I gladly copied 30 handouts about oral motor activities that could be done to elicit speech sounds, differential diagnosis criteria and various therapy protocols/programs used to treat children with verbal apraxia.  I was expecting a luke warm turn-out of maybe 15 parents and professionals and was bowled over by the actual number of about 60.  Not only were these parents and professionals searching for more information, but many were well informed and willing to go out of their way to help others. I was also shocked to learn that most of the people at this meeting drive one to three hours one way to attend regularly from NJ, and every state around NJ!  I knew then that I wanted to play an active role in this organization.

I am not a JOINER unless I'm a DOER. For 'CAN' I'd gladly do all I could.  There are so many children out there who are being misdiagnosed, underestimated or ignored. I can't sit back and watch when I know that something better can be done.  I began my career as a School Speech Pathologist in Maryland having attained by BA in Psychology from George Washington University, and an MA in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Catholic University of America.  I moved to New Jersey in 1985 and worked at the Morristown Memorial Hospital in their rehabilitation program, before joining Summit Speech School's staff.  I am licensed by the state and have my Speech Specialists Certification.  I have received three ACE awards from the American Speech Hearing and Language Association (Awards for Continuing Education). This past July,1999, I opened my private practice specializing in speech disorders in children, specifically for oral motor difficulties, verbal apraxia and voice disorders.  I can be reached at 973.540.8884 or online at roth0805-2@idt.net. Please do not hesitate to call or write if I can be of help.

These children are our future....let's help them get there with smiles and words.

Lori Roth, MA CCC/SLP
Speech Language Pathologist
Oral Motor Specialist

Lori Roth MS CCC/SLP was just nominated to the New Jersey Speech Hearing Association, and has done lectures to other Speech Pathologists about apraxia.  Read Lori's parent friendly "signs of oral apraxia" and "signs of verbal apraxia."  Also read Lori's answers to the magazine writers questions about apraxia.

 

Send mail to Support with technical questions or comments about this web site. 
Copyright 1998 
Last modified: Friday, June 03, 2005

To find your way around the CHERAB part of this site please click here for the index.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist

Send mail to Support with technical questions or comments about this web site. 
Copyright 1998 
Last modified: Friday, June 03, 2005

To find your way around the CHERAB part of this site please click here for the index.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -- Margaret Mead, anthropologist