Suggestions for a Pre-School Teacher who has a Child with Apraxia in Class
1. Send home a picture of the activity centers, and all the children and teachers, so the child can be more specific about what he or she did during the day.
2. Recognize the child’s strengths, not just his or her needs.
3. Start on teaching the child some signs to use in the classroom for things he or she needs to communicate immediately (ex It’s mine!) This would be beneficial to the other students as well, and will help to head off any behavior or peer interaction problems…. Also, you could use the PECS system or look into other augmentative communication for him to help build expressive language capability – longer and more complex sentences, etc
4. If the child has a private SLP, work collaboratively with him or her by e-mail, or phone, so that everyone that works with the child is on the same page. For example: what target sounds to practice during the day, repetitively.
5. Stop making the child with apraxia say incorrect approximations.
6. Do not put an apraxic child on the spot for speaking
7. Increase the apraxic child’s ‘free time’ on the computer programs and introduce him to more age-appropriate games and even ones to challenge him. A 3-year-old who has no apparent cognitive or fine motor problems is likely to enjoy some of the kids’ software, and he can control what it does without having to make his wishes understood by someone else.
8. Have a daily communication book that records what the child did at school or home. Anyone who cares for, or teaches the child with apraxia can write in this book. Be specific about the activities you do with the child during the day. Include photos, etc.
9. Don’t hold the rest of his education back to the level of his speech. Work around it as best you can – ask him to pick the green one instead of telling you what color something is, to rearrange pictures to retell you the story, etc.
10. Work one on one with the child as much as possible. Repetition is always important for a child with apraxia.