Children who receive an apraxia of speech diagnosis should begin speech therapy with a speech-language pathologist (SLP), preferably one that has had previous experience and success in treating apraxia. Exactly how often the child should have speech therapy will vary according to the individual needs of each child. Children with CAS who have severely unclear or little speech and are more severely affected will require more therapy than those who have milder apraxia.
This video segment shows children with different levels of apraxia, from mild to severe:
Typically, experienced SLPs will suggest that a child with moderate to severe apraxia of speech have 3 – 5 times a week of individual speech therapy. The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA), the professional organization representing speech, language and hearing professionals, has agreed with this in its position paper on CAS.
However, there ARE other considerations for the amount and frequency of speech therapy for a child with CAS:
- the extent to which the child will practice at home with their parents or caregivers;
- how much the child can individually tolerate;
- How frequently the parents can bring their child to speech therapy, etc.
- the presence of other speech and/or language difficulties
As a child begins to make progress in their ability to produce speech that is understood by others, the amount and frequency of therapy can be adjusted accordingly. As speech gets clearer and more abundant, therapy time can be gradually reduced. As a child’s speech moves from severely affected to moderately affected to mildly affected, the amount of speech therapy time targeting the apraxia can be gradually reduced.