What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)?
A Neurological Speech Sound Disorder where the accuracy and consistency of movements needed for speech production are impaired. It is primarily a disorder of inaccurate planned movement, known as praxis; there is a difficulty in planning and executing voluntary movement sequences.
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is NOT:
An Articulation or isolated speech sound disorder
A Speech Delay
An Intellectual or Cognitive Impairment
An isolated Expressive Language Disorder
When can CAS be diagnosed?
According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, CAS cannot be diagnosed until a child is 4 years old. Treatment for a Suspected Childhood Apraxia of speech (SCAS) for children under 4 who are presenting with key indicators is available and recommended.
What are the key indicators of CAS?
Inconsistent errors on vowels and consonants
Limited number of consonants or vowels
Difficulty moving between sounds, especially with increased length; words may appear broken apart at between sounds
Inappropriate intonation or stress
More difficulty with voluntary productions then when they initiate speech on their own (will have difficulty repeating words they may have said correctly before)
May observe an effort or hesitation with speech attempts; seen in lips, jaw, or tongue
A relatively high understanding of language and attempts to produce their own forms of words (e.g., using signs, their own adapted form of the word)
What can you expect in therapy?
Each child will receive a customized therapy approach emphasizing the movement involved in planning, sequencing, and executing certain sound sequences. Repetitive productions to establish consistency of sound production and improving overall communication are key therapy elements.
How long will therapy take?
Therapy for CAS is intensive and progress will occur over an extended period of time. Your child will need speech therapy to improve as this condition will not resolve on its own.