Many children with apraxia benefit from occupational therapy. My son was definitely one of them. I had no idea at the beginning of this journey how strong the relationship between gross motor movement, sensory stimulation and language would be for him. Speech is fine motor movement after all. But at first I was so consumed by his lack of speech, I didn’t notice the problems he was having with gross motor planning. In fact, initially we brought in an OT to evaluate Henry because of sensory issues he was having. The OT noticed right away that Henry had some fine and gross motor planning difficulties and the gross motor was the most noticeable. I always thought he was just really clumsy…falling down all the time, tripping over nothing. And of course he was late to crawl and walk, but not drastically so.
The amazing thing that happened over the course of several OT appointments was watching this obvious connection between Henry bouncing, rolling, being patted or tickled…and then being able to produce a sound. It was almost magical. I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. But through trampolines, obstacle courses and other techniques we made progress in Henry’s speech we had not seen before. My OT explains it as Henry’s need to organize himself… when he organizes his body it is somehow easier to organize his speech.
We have seen huge strides in Henry’s overall coordination and balance. Now the playground is not such a daunting outing. He seems almost caught up to children his age in this respect, though that is not a professional assessment. He will be fully evaluated again next month. In the meantime we are trying to figure out the reappearance of his tremors and his need for oral sensory input… I will cover this in another post. Overall though I will say I don’t think Henry would be where he is verbally without the occupational therapy he’s gotten these last months. For those who have not investigated this I highly suggest it.