It seems to me that we tend to be too quick to “diagnose” a late talker as apraxic. Once again, I was working with a 20 month old who is behind in talking. He was working with another speech therapist before I began working with him and we were communicating about a possible diagnosis. She mentioned that he seemed to possibly be apraxic. I agree that at first, he couldn’t easily imitate simple sounds, Mom reported that words tended to appear and disappear, and the other therapist was seeing slow progress. However, after a few sessions, he is responding to physical, visual and verbal prompts and starting to add to his repertoire of sounds.
The funniest thing happened the other day that had to be a first for me. I had been working on imitation of /b/ for the lesson the previous week. Mom and I got so excited when he finally said /ba/ for “block” interspersed between /ga/, /da/ and /ta/ for “block.” I got a few more correct /b/ productions that session and was pleased with the breakthrough. When I arrived this week, little Austin smiled at me and greeted me with /ba/! Then he laughed!! He is so darn smart. Did he remember that I worked so hard last week to get that sound out of him?? Maybe I am giving him too much credit but it was crazy. He went on to say /ba/ over and over at me, so pleased to be pleasing me.