Max's Story (2006)
Like most 2 year old boys, Max Douglas seems to have limitless amounts of energy. He’s boisterous, he loves playing games and he loves people.
However, unlike most 2 year olds, Max doesn’t speak.
While other children his age have a vocabulary of around fifty to one hundred words and are joining words together to form phrases, Max can confidently say just one word - ‘Mum’.
Max’s parents, Karen and Alex realised fairly early that something was not quite right and it was more than just being slow to speak. While Max’s comprehension of words was excellent and appropriate for his age, he was unable to say even the most basic words or attempt to mimic them.
They consulted medical specialists and therapists and were eventually given the diagnosis of verbal apraxia, or developmental apraxia of speech, a condition that affects around 1% of children.
Apraxia of speech occurs when a person tries to communicate but the muscles required for speech – mouth, tongue, lips, jaw – can’t form the right sounds or sequence the sounds together to make words. Comprehension can be within the normal range and there is nothing wrong with the muscles, however for some reason the message sent from the brain gets scrambled and speech becomes very diffiult
Karen Douglas was told her son would require intense and regular speech therapy in order to have the best chance of learning how to speak.
Karen decided to do something to help Max and other children with apraxia of speech. She opened Max’s House, a specialised speech therapy clinic to treat children with apraxia of speech and other related disorders.
Karen hired three speech therapists and arranged for them to undergo intensive specialised training in the United States, currently the world leader in research into apraxia of speech and in developing therapies to treat the condition.
For more detailed information on Apraxia of Speech, please see our resources section, or feel free to contact us.