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What Will the Future Hold?

Parents have so many questions and worries about what the future will hold for their child.  Getting a picture of that future is challenging at best.  CASANA has now “grown” up with quite a few young people who have had the diagnosis of CAS and so we have a better perspective of the possible outcomes, though there is no longitudinal research to give clear answers for any particular child.

We know that kids who have had apraxia of speech as youngsters can grow into young adults who graduate from high school, find jobs, graduate from college, develop committed relationships and have children.   We know that many children with a history of CAS, and who get appropriate help, can learn to speak well, some quite well – to the extent that no one would ever guess that at one time they had a severe speech disorder.  Also, as indicated earlier, we know that children with apraxia of speech can come with a variety of other developmental problems or concerns, in addition to apraxia of speech.  For this reason, long-term outcomes do vary child to child.

Experienced speech-language pathologists suggest that long-term prognosis for clear speech is most favorable for children that have fewer and less severe co-occurring problems. Children with fewer or milder co-occurring problems tend to progress to normal speech when they have been given appropriate and sufficient speech therapy, even if their speech apraxia was more severe in the beginning.  However, even children with significant co-occurring problems can and do continue to make positive gains in their speech and communication with appropriate intervention.  Finally, motivation of the child and family often contribute in immeasurable and positive ways to long-term outcomes.