Welcome

My name is Janet Beaupre. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist who has worked for both Edmonton and Sturgeon School boards in Early Education sites and in Headstart. I am also a private practitioner working with preschool and elementary aged children. I am trained in the Let’s Start Talking program (LST) and the Let’s Talk More (LTM) program and have used both of these programs privately and in schools. Both of these programs have yielded amazing results when working with children with severe speech motor learning disorders (apraxia). I am also trained in oromyofunctional therapy and often use both when in treatment sessions. Therapy sessions are conducted from my home based office in St. Albert or remotely, I am currently accepting new clients. If you have any questions, please contact me via email, phone or direct message.

What is a speech motor learning disorder?

A speech motor learning disorder—also known as acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) when diagnosed in children—is a speech sound disorder. Someone with a speech motor learning disorder has trouble saying what he or she wants to say correctly and consistently. A speech motor learning disorder is a neurological disorder that affects the brain pathways involved in planning the sequence of movements involved in producing speech. The brain knows what it wants to say, but cannot properly plan and sequence the required speech sound movements. A speech motor learning disorder is not caused by weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles (the muscles of the jaw, tongue, or lips). Weakness or paralysis of the speech muscles results in a separate speech disorder, known as dysarthria. Some people have both dysarthria and speech motor learning disorder, which can make diagnosis of the two conditions more difficult. The severity of a speech motor learning disorder varies from person to person. It can be so mild that it causes trouble with only a few speech sounds or with pronunciation of words that have many syllables. In the most severe cases, someone with speech motor learning disorder might not be able to communicate effectively by speaking, and may need the help of alternative communication methods. A childhood speech motor learning disorder is present from birth. This condition is also known as developmental apraxia of speech, developmental verbal apraxia, or articulatory apraxia. A childhood speech motor learning disorder is not the same as developmental delays in speech, in which a child follows the typical path of speech development but does so more slowly than is typical.

What are the symptoms of a speech motor learning disorder?

Children with a speech motor learning disorder may have a number of different speech characteristics, or symptoms:

  • Distorting sounds. People with speech motor learning disorder may have difficulty pronouncing words correctly. Sounds, especially vowels, are often distorted. Because the speaker may not place the speech structures (e.g., tongue, jaw) quite in the right place, the sound comes out wrong. Longer or more complex words are usually harder to say than shorter or simpler words.
  • Making inconsistent errors in speech. For example, someone with a speech motor learning disorder may say a difficult word correctly but then have trouble repeating it, or may be able to say a particular sound one day and have trouble with the same sound the next day. * Groping for sounds. People with a speech motor learning disorder often appear to be groping for the right sound or word, and may try saying a word several times before they say it correctly.
  • Making errors in tone, stress, or rhythm. Another common characteristic of a speech motor learning disorder is the incorrect use of prosody. Prosody is the rhythm and inflection of speech that we use to help express meaning. Someone who has trouble with prosody might use equal stress, segment syllables in a word, omit syllables in words and phrases, or pause inappropriately while speaking. Children with a speech motor learning disorder generally understand language much better than they are able to use it. Some children with the disorder may also have other speech problems, expressive language problems, or motor-skill problems.