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Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)? Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurological speech disorder that affects a child's ability to plan and coordinate the movements needed for speech. Unlike other speech disorders, CAS is a planning disorder where the brain has difficulty sending the right signals to the muscles for speech production.

Signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech:

  • Inconsistent speech sound errors (e.g., saying a word correctly one time but incorrectly the next)

  • Difficulty imitating speech sounds or words

  • Difficulty coordinating mouth movements for speech

  • Limited repertoire of speech sounds

  • Effortful and slow speech production

  • Groping or struggling movements of the lips, tongue, or jaw when trying to speak

 

Causes of Childhood Apraxia of Speech: The exact cause of CAS is not fully understood, but it is believed to involve a combination of genetic, neurological, and developmental factors. Children with CAS may have differences in the way their brain processes speech signals, leading to difficulties in planning and coordinating speech movements.

Diagnosis and Treatment: Diagnosing CAS requires a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in motor speech disorders. Treatment for CAS typically involves intensive and individualized therapy aimed at improving speech planning and coordination. Therapy may include activities to practice specific speech sounds, as well as strategies to improve overall speech intelligibility.

Support for Families: Families play a crucial role in supporting a child with CAS. Educating yourself about CAS, participating in therapy sessions, and practicing speech exercises at home can help support your child's progress. It's also important to work closely with your child's SLP to develop a treatment plan that meets your child's unique needs.

More information available here: Apraxia Kids

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