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Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for messages to move from a child’s brain to their mouth. 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Children with apraxia know what they want to say, but their muscles will not move the right way for the correct sound to come out. Often, children with apraxia of speech are inconsistent with their sounds, have difficulty with transitions between syllables or words, may sound garbled, or may not be able to say a sound at all. 

Those with CAS will need to work with a speech/language pathologist. Depending on the severity of the condition, therapy may be three or even five times per week at the beginning, with treatment less often as speech improves. She SLP will use a variety of treatment methods and determine goals based specifically on the child’s needs.

Treatment to strengthen muscles - used for a variety of other speech conditions - will not help children with CAS. Their muscles are not responsible for their speech challenges; it’s the signals from the brain that are causing the issues. Therefore, practicing speech and using all of their senses are the ways to combat CAS, and parents need to ensure the SLP working with their child is experienced in these methods.

Signs of childhood apraxia of speech:

  • Does not always say words the same way every time
  • Tends to put the stress on the wrong syllable or word
  • Distorts or changes sounds
  • Can say shorter words more clearly than longer words

Please note: Children with CAS may not demonstrate all - or even many - of the behaviors listed here.

Do you suspect your child might have childhood apraxia of speech?

If you think your child may have CAS, contact a Speech-Language Pathologist to complete an assessment. If you have any questions, contact us and we'll be happy to assist you.

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