If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

What other Professionals May Be Involved?

If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

What to look for in an SLP for your child

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

What other Professionals May Be Involved?

If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

What to look for in an SLP for your child

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

If you have concerns about your child’s development in addition to their speech, other professionals may be called on to get involved in helping your child.  If there are other co-occurring developmental or medical conditions present, other disciplines will be involved as needed. For example, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician can evaluate all aspects of your child’s development.

DEVELOPMENTAL PEDIATRICIAN

Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician with advanced training in neuro-developmental disorders and “atypical”, out of the ordinary child development.  This type of professional can help recommend specialists and coordinate and advocate for services that the child may need.  You may also find this professional listed as a Developmental-behavioral Pediatrician.

PEDIATRIC NEUROLOGIST

Pediatric Neurologist may be helpful if there are overall neurological concerns in addition to speech.  If you are concerned about whether or not there is a problem of brain structure, wonder about possible seizures, and other brain related activities, the neurologist can help.  Some medical tests that can be done include MRIs to examine brain structure and extended EEGs to investigate the electrical system of the brain.

CLINICAL GENETICIST

Clinical Geneticist may become involved if there is suspicion of an underlying genetic condition.  We know that one way in which CAS may occur is as a characteristic of neurological, genetic, metabolic and/or mitochondrial disorders.  Increasingly, research is demonstrating that there are a number of genetic conditions in which childhood apraxia of speech, and/or severe speech disorder, is a characteristic.  In the last few years, since the Human Genome Project was implemented, a new concept in genetics has appeared.  It is called copy number variant (CNV).  CNV refers to the finding that individuals can have small parts of chromosomes that are missing, duplicated, rearranged, or in some way different from what is expected.  Research has discovered that many people have these small differences.  Some people with CNVs have no noticeable difference in their functioning and others do have problems.  There are some CNVs identified in research publications that have childhood apraxia of speech as one characteristic.  For these reason, a wholistic and comprehensive evaluation of many factors may be warranted.  If there are extended family members who also have histories of speech and/or language problems or if there are medical concerns about your child, parents should speak to their pediatrician about referral to a geneticist.  Currently, a type of genetic testing called Microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization is most useful.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

An Occupational Therapist can evaluate your child’s overall ability to function in many aspects of life, including fine motor control.  Often, children with apraxia of speech have difficulty in managing the fine motor movements and coordination with their hands that are necessary for skills such as printing and writing, dressing, manipulating toys or objects and other self-help skills.  Additionally, some occupational therapists are great resources for evaluating children with difficulty eating.  Sensory processing difficulties are often reported by parents of children with CAS, such as difficulty with noises or in touching various textures and more.  A highly trained occupational therapist can help evaluate and treat sensory difficulties.

PHYSICAL THERAPIST

Physical Therapist can evaluate overall physical functioning, body coordination and motor control of larger muscles of the body (gross motor control) and how the child is able to function in their environment.  A percentage of children with CAS have gross motor planning challenges, but not all.

A DEVELOPMENTAL SPECIALIST OR PSYCHOLOGIST

Psychologist or Developmental Specialist can help to examine a child’s cognitive abilities and whether they are developing as expected.  In young children, their ability to participate in play experiences that are typical for their age can be affected.  An astute psychologist will understand that children with a limited ability to speak are not able to participate in some forms of psychological testing that requires verbal responses.

OVERALL

Many children with apraxia of speech do have other developmental issues to some degree or another.  It is very important for parents and physicians to carefully monitor and respond to any concerns. Some of the most frequent developmental concerns that have been highlighted in the research include difficulties in fine motor control (such as in using the hands for skilled movement) and sensory processing.

In the United States, speech-language pathologists (SLP) are certified by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA).  Once the individual has successfully completed a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology, Communication Disorders and Sciences, or another relevant program; passed a national exam; and successfully completed a supervised clinical fellowship year, the professional is considered a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) and is eligible for a “certificate of clinical competence.”  The credentials on this professional’s business card would include something like:  M.S., CCC-SLP or M.A., CCC-SLP or another Master’s degree designation with the CCC-SLP.  If the person does not have the CCC-SLP after their name they may not be a certified speech-language pathologist.  In Canada, the professional organizations are called “SAC” (ENGLISH) / “OAC” (FRENCH).

When SLPs leave their training programs they are, for the most part, generalists.  That means they have learned the basics required of the profession across the span of many types of problems and age ranges.   Some SLPs will then begin to “specialize” in age populations, such as child or adult related speech and language disorders.  They may also start to take a particular interest in types of speech problems within the age group.  For example, an SLP might take a particular interest in adults who have speech and language problems related to traumatic brain injury.  Or a speech clinician may take a real interest in the area of stuttering/fluency in children.  The professional will seek out additional training, on their own or with the support of their employer.  A priority for that SLP will be keeping up with the published research on their specialty interest area.  That professional may begin to see more children or adults on their caseload who have that particular issue because their employer or supervisor knows of their interest.  Over time, that SLP has become more knowledgeable and more skilled because he/she has taken advantage of more education specific to the problem; they have continually studied the research; and they gained skills by directly working with the population.  So it is with SLPs who have experience and expertise with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

It is recommended that, when possible, a child with apraxia of speech receive their speech therapy from a highly experienced, certified SLP.  In their CAS Position Statement, the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) suggested that diagnosis and treatment should be done by an SLP with “specialized knowledge” in childhood motor speech disorders like apraxia of speech.  Unfortunately, such individuals are not readily available in all cities or towns or all regions.  However, less specialized SLPs can also be very excellent choices if they are eager and committed to learning more about CAS, attending training opportunities, and/or possibly receiving consultation from a more experienced colleague.

QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK POTENTIAL SLPS

  • What type of training do you have in Childhood Apraxia of Speech and where did you get it?
  • What is your experience in evaluating and diagnosing children for CAS?
  • What is your experience with treatment of CAS? How many children have you served? What age range have you previously served?
  • What is your approach to therapy for children with CAS? Specifically, how is therapy for my child going to be different than that for a child with a different diagnosis?
  • What experience do you have with augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)?
  • How will you include me in my child’s therapy process?

Special NOTE: Research is demonstrating that to improve speech production in children with CAS, the therapist needs to be working directly, carefully, and specifically on SPEECH.  If you observe that your child’s therapy does not involve your child making and being encouraged to make multiple repetitions of words or phrases, this may be a sign that the SLP is not experienced with appropriate therapy techniques.  Please remember, most children with apraxia of speech have other speech and language concerns in addition to the “apraxia” part.  Communicate with your child’s speech-language pathologist so you understand what aspect of your child’s speech, language or communication issues are “primary” (most problematic) right now.

You have a perfect right to ask a potential speech-language pathologist any of the questions listed above.  You are your child’s best advocate and assuring that your child receives appropriate therapy is critical to their ultimate success.

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