Does your child have a speech delay? It is estimated that 4,000 children in Canada and 40,000 children in the USA have a genetic anomaly that can cause a speech delay called "apraxia". There are other causes of apraxia, but scientists have just recently discovered a genetic cause.
My own daughter had apraxia, which meant that she could not speak in complete sentences, and when she finally did, she would leave out many of the connecting words like "the" "to" "at" and so on... Her speech therapist tested her vocabulary, and at the age of 9, she had the vocabulary level of a 14 year-old. She could also follow very complicated instructions. So, even though her intelligence was normal, she could not speak. I finally found a term that described this condition as "apraxia". But, we didn't know the cause. The new research from the University of Alberta has found that some cases of apraxia can have a genetic cause. Scientists have not come up with treatment for the condition. However, for my daughter, we found that hyperbaric therapy improved her speech as well as her overall health. We also used alternative medicine therapies to treat candida yeast infection which was causing severe health problems.
To read the complete study as published by the New England Journal of Medicine click one of the links below to open the articles in PDF format.
Short article on Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) and the connection to speech apraxia.
In depth article on Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) and the connection to speech apraxia.
Response from the information about Williams-Beuren syndrome that we included in our e-mail newsletter (names removed for privacy):
I wanted to take the time to thank you for the information regarding apraxia. My son, was diagnosed with developmental apraxia almost 3 years ago. While his gross and fine motor skills seem okay at this time (pencil grasp is hard for him), his speech delay was so significant he was considered "severe". Early testing placed him in the 1st percentile range for speech. Our family learned basic sign language ([my son] will still use) to help cut down on the frustration level all of us were feeling. [My son's] speech is still far from normal, but he has made significant strides over the past year thanks to intensive speech therapy.
Because of the information you passed on, I have been able to have [my son] tested for Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will get the results later this month.
Thanks again, D.S.