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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 difficulties of affected children are akin to “delays” in development; are transient and can be simply outgrown without direct intervention.

The use of the prefix “A” (i.e.: absence) and “dys” (i.e.: partial) attached to the root word praxis may also provide confusion. In most instances, use of either of the terms apraxia or dyspraxia appear to be based on personal preference, one’s graduate educational institution, and/or one’s geographic location rather than a substantially, meaningful or practical difference. The term apraxia, however, is the choice used nearly exclusively to describe the adult form of the disorder. Praxis, in either case, refers to “skilled movement.”