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Aprexia or autism?

Posted by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 9:39 PM
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I am getting so many conflicting reporta about what could be up with my son. They say he shows some autistic tendancys (he likes doors, doesnt play well with kids his own age) but could these all be signs o aprexia? He is behind in expressive and comprehension, and his new speech therapist believes it is only aprexia. Did anyone else's doctors think they may have been autistic of had add and turned out to be aprexia?
by on Jul. 31, 2007 at 9:39 PM
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Replies (1-10):
EmmaKerrimom
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 9:48 AM

I never had a dr. think autism, but my sister had it in her head that that must be the answer because my daughter was lineing up all her stuffies all the time (turns out she's just an oranization freek.. not a bad quality) and insisted I get her tested... anyway my suggestion is go a head and rule it out, but make sure it's a comprehensive team of experts.  and remember dr's don't know all there is to know about speech disorders so you're slp might be right. 

hang in there!

VAMommyX4
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 11:49 AM
Well, a speech delay can be a sign of autism, but social withdrawl is not a sign of apraxia and neither are OCD behaviors. That being said, yes, in the beginning there were a few people who suggested autism could be the issue with my son because of his severe shyness combined with his speech delays. The real test would be how your son acts towards you. Many autistic kids don't like to be held or show affection, they don't make eye contact, even with parents, they don't play well with anyone, including parents, etc. If your son acts like a typical little boy around you who just doesn't speak as well as others, I wouldn't be concerned. Also, your SLP works with many autistic children I am sure, and if she thinks it is just apraxia, then I wouldn't worry too much about it!  Hope I helped!
sdebarber
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 1:35 PM
Charlie is wonderful with my self, his daddy, my sister, and his brother. He loves his first therapist Tara, and his teachers. I guess their main concern is that he doesnt play with the other kids at school. He did play well with his cousin who is 3 1/2, mabey he is just shy because he cannot communicate with them?
VAMommyX4
by on Aug. 1, 2007 at 5:01 PM
I think that can have alot to do with it. If Mommy and Daddy don't always understand what they say, the other kids aren't going to either, and they are already in a situation they feel uncomfortable in, then you add the fact that they can't communicate as well... I don't blame them!!!  I wouldn't worry about it until someone tells you too! Like I said, if your SLP isn't concerned, you shouldn't be either! 
kleea1969
by on Aug. 2, 2007 at 8:52 AM
I am a little confused.  My son has developmental verbal apraxia  but I was under the impression that apraxia was expressive language not comprehension.  I could be wrong because he is not full blown apraxia just verbal apraxia.  My speech therapist diagnosed him but I am still taking him to a developmental pediatrician for my own peace of mind you may feel better if you do the same.  I think when dealing with these types of things as parents we just want to know what it is and how we can help and it can be so frustrating.  My sons speech therapist told me in no way was he autistic and not to allow anyone to tell me he was and I have to side with her.  I truly think it is all overwhelming but stick with your instincts no one knows your son better then you do. 
sdebarber
by on Aug. 2, 2007 at 11:17 AM
Charlie has seen a developmental ped, and they have told me it was a possibility, but that was 4 months ago, and 90% of the tendancies they said he has have dissapeared. The 2 things he has left are the not playing much with other children, and playing with doors. He will stop if I tell him to, its not like he becomes engrossed with it. Also, after te progress he has made just in the last 2 weeks, I am begining to see that I think it is just aprexia. When we went to see my family, he played with his cousin joey (3 1/2 years) and they got along until it was Charlie's turn to talk, then he would scream and walk away. I would help him use words, but I do not hink they do this at his school for him. He is getting re-evaluated by EDIS and his ped., so mebay it will be ruled out.
Bayla
by on Aug. 3, 2007 at 10:43 AM

I think you might be experiencing a combination of apraxia, personality, and normal developmental phases.

My 3 year old with apraxia, who is not autistic, has loved playing with doors for a long time.  Now my 17 month old is doing the same thing, and his verbal skills are on target for his age.  I believe it's a normal fascination.  I also remember that when my oldest was in daycare there was a rule at the daycare that children were absolutely not permitted to touch or close any door.  So I think doors are just a curious object for little children.  My 3 year old also lines up anything and everything.  Some days it's vehicles, other days it's stuffed animals or markers.  My neighbor across the street, who has 5 and 8 year old girls, saw my son lining up riding toys in the driveway one day and remarked that her daughters went through the same phase.  So that was a relief.


As for the social situations, your son may seem withdrawn because playing with others has had negative results for him because he can't communicate effectively with the other child(ren).  My son is now just starting to do better playing with other children.  In the past, as soon as the other child tried to verbally communicate with my son, I would see him withdraw from the other child because he knew he couldn't communicate back.  Or he would try to speak, couldn't get the words out, and the other child would react or get confused/frustrated.  My son is also naturally shy and sometimes it takes a long time for him to warm up to new kids and situations.   Some kids also just like playing alone without a lot of stimulation or distractions. 

I hope this is helpful or at least reassuring.  Raising a child with apraxia is soooo challenging on so many different levels.

Yersinia
by on Aug. 8, 2007 at 2:07 AM
Apraxia is a motor planning disorder.  It only involves expressive speech production.  Children with apraxia have age-appropriate or near-age-appropriate receptive language (comprehension).  Apraxia has nothing to do with social skills or play skills.

Autism is characterized by a marked speech delay (usually both receptive and expressive), deficits in socialization and imaginary play, and repetitive and self-stimulatory behaviors.

Having said that, autism and apraxia can actually occur together.  My 5 year old has both.  When he was younger, he had delays in both receptive and expressive speech.  Now his receptive speech has improved to his age level, but his expressive is still very, very severely delayed (2 words at 5 years old).  He also has the other hallmarks of autism mentioned above.

Yersinia
erinn
by on Aug. 17, 2007 at 8:55 AM
My 6 year old also has both.  Ironically, we thought he had Autism before any of the docs/therapists.  We kept asking and seeing the signs and they kept saying no (until he was 3 1/2).  I think that most of the parents I know (except those in extreme denial) have a gt feeling that tends to be right.  The social stuff is hard to say-it could just be frustration with not being able to communicate.  I notice that this post was a few weeks ago-any updates since then?
mrsgregw
by on Aug. 17, 2007 at 9:11 AM
I just wanted to point out and am in no way trying to concern you needlessly but autism is a disorder that has a very wide spectrum. my son is the most social little kid around. He cuddles and kisses and plays very interactive with others his age and at home interacts with his father and I very typically.
He has aspergers *a form of high functioning autism* and now we are going through the diagnosis process of apraxia.
He is a sensitive kid who has many sensory problems *hates haircuts, is an extremely picky eater, has frequent meltdowns (although not long or overly severe) and major personal space issues (always has to be right up in other kid's faces) Your child most likely does not have it if you or your doctor really do not feel concerned, I just wanted to mention do not rule out autism because your child does not have some of the "classic" signs. I ruled it out so many times thinking Michael just had sensory integration, speech delays, it was not until preschool that I started to really feel in the pit of my stomach there was something more. I am not sure how old your child is but if your state has early child family education you are entitled to a free evaluation which is very extensive. That was where we started to put together the puzzle and get some overdue answers...
Hope you get the answers you are looking for...
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