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'It's not a question of intelligence': Experts say treat developmental delays early

Posted August 24

— Health experts say early pediatrician visits with your baby can reveal and treat important developmental issues before they reach school age.

For example, though not all babies start to speak at the same pace, identifying any problems they have early on could prevent future struggles. WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask caught up with a family he featured two years ago when their three-year-old girl could barely speak a word.

Now, at the age of five, Rebecca Lynn Waite loves playing "Hide the Button" with her mom, Heather. The goal? Every picture card turned over in the game must be spoken.

Hide the Button" is for more than fun, though. It's part of daily intensive therapy to help Rebecca Lynn through a neurological disorder called apraxia of speech, which involves issues coordinating the physical actions of speech and getting the lips, tongue, palate and jaw to move.

"It's an oral motor planning disorder," said Cindy Crockett, a speech pathologist who started working with Rebecca Lynn two years ago. "It's not at all a question of intelligence."

The 2017 Triangle Walk for Childhood Apraxia of Speech, an event planned to help kids like Rebecca Lynn, is scheduled for Oct. 7 at Pullen Park in Raleigh.

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