Skip to main content

Childhood Apraxia of Speech Start Guide for the Speech-Language Pathologist

A Professional Place of basic and up-to-date information guide for SLP’s and other professionals.  Designed with the busy professional in mind.  Includes an online Start Guide for Professionals and connection to our Messageboard Pro for the professional community.

  • Introduction

    Children with apraxia of speech represent a very interesting and yet extremely challenging population of youngsters with speech disorders. These children are among those children most severely impaired of all children diagnosed with a speech disorder. Additionally, at any given point in time, children with CAS represent just a small proportion of children on the […]

    Read More
  • The Terminology

    Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is the current preferred terminology to describe the disorder. Other terms still in “use” and from the relatively recent past include “developmental apraxia of speech” and “developmental verbal dyspraxia”. Use of the descriptor “developmental”, however, unfortunately provides a false implication to other professional groups and insurance reimbursers that the speech […]

    Read More
  • What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

    Over the years, since the first accounts of the disorder, there has been disagreement over the underlying nature of the disorder. Some have proposed that CAS is linguistic in nature; others have proposed that it is motoric and some have put forth the tenet that it is BOTH linguistic and motoric in nature. However, currently […]

    Read More
  • Key characteristics of CAS

    When considering characteristics of the disorder, SLPs need to keep in mind that children with other speech sound disorders share some characteristics from the list. Other characteristics may be more common and contribute more specifically to the differential diagnosis of CAS, distinguishing CAS from the other pediatric speech sound disorders. Additional research is needed to […]

    Read More
  • Evaluation, Assessment and Diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    The professional who is most qualified to investigate, assess, and provide diagnosis for children’s speech disorders is the Speech-language Pathologist. It may be that after speech/language evaluation, the clinician has reason to refer a child to other health-related professionals in the fields of occupational therapy, behavioral and developmental pediatrics, or pediatric neurology. However, a speech-language […]

    Read More
  • Speech Therapy for Children with CAS

    While children with CAS have many similarities to one another, they also display frank differences in communication profiles. Thus, this is a heterogeneous population. It will be important for clinicians to determine the contribution of speech motor processing to the child’s speech difficulty. Children with a diagnosis of CAS will initially need to work, much […]

    Read More
  • General Treatment Principles

    Motor-programming Approach If one understands CAS as a disorder of the speech motor system, then guidance for treatment can be found in understanding motor programming/planning tenets. Again, each child with CAS will have their own individual profile and will have different needs at different points in their development as competent speakers and communicators. Clinicians will […]

    Read More
  • Multi-sensory Input for Speech Practice

    Overall, most treatment methods in the professional literature describe variations of therapeutic multisensory input to the affected child. Use of multisensory strategies may incorporate input that is visual, auditory, proprioceptive and tactile in order to teach the child the movement sequences for speech. It is not yet understood exactly why such “inputs” assist in the […]

    Read More
  • Establish Functional Communication and Early Success

    Many children with CAS struggle so significantly and are so severely affected that they have difficulty attaining any semblance of a functional vocabulary. Thus, one initial goal for treatment of such children should be to aid in establishing such a vocabulary. A careful inventory of the child’s current consonant and vowel inventory may provide a […]

    Read More
  • Knowledge of Performance, Knowledge of Results

    The child with CAS will require “feedback” in order for motor learning to occur. Two types of feedback to consider in treatment are “knowledge of performance” and “knowledge of results.” Knowledge of performance refers to feedback provided by the SLP that gives the child specific information on how a movement is performed or correction to […]

    Read More
  • Effort, Attention and Motivation

    Key Components in Speech Therapy

    Children with CAS need to exert a great deal of their cognitive and attention resources to the speech task, especially during the early phases of speech therapy as they build volitional control over their speech motor system. SLPs need to assess consistently their environment and the potential distracters for the child that will reduce the […]

    Read More
  • Education Issues for Children with Apraxia

    There has been recent research that indicates children with a diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech (and other certain speech sound disorders) are at high risk for literacy problems and language-learning related educational difficulties. Speech-language pathologists in the school systems are instrumental in helping educators understand the ramifications of speech/language difficulties in the realm of […]

    Read More
  • Augmentative and Alternative Communication for Apraxia

    Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) may be appropriate for children with a diagnosis of CAS. Some children benefit from using sign language for some period of time when their speech is not yet fully intelligible. There are many benefits to sign language and other AAC forms detailed in other articles on the website, however several […]

    Read More
  • Working with Families and Caregivers

    For many reasons, it is in the child’s best interest when SLPs are committed to working with and beside parents and caregivers. Creating professional-parent partnerships whenever possible enhances the opportunities for children with CAS. Parents can be valuable “therapy extenders”, with proper guidance from the SLP. It is not likely enough to simply spend a […]

    Read More
  • Progress and Long Term Outcomes

    With appropriate early intervention and ongoing support, most children with CAS can improve their speech production skills and develop functional speech. The period of time this outcome requires is individualized and most likely based on the unique characteristics of the child and the level and quality of the intervention provided. Previous literature had cited “slow […]

    Read More
  • Conclusion

    Children with CAS represent a very interesting and yet challenging population of children with speech disorders. An urgent need exists for research into all aspects of the disorder. However, in the interim, the literature and clinical expertise does offer some guidance toward appropriate and effective diagnosis and treatment. Unlike several years ago, today speech-language pathologists […]

    Read More