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Definitions of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Learn how various professionals and researchers have defined apraxia of speech in children.

“Apraxia is difficulty forming sounds into words. The term developmental apraxia is used when children have this problem.”
Nancy Williams, MA, “Developmental Apraxia,” Communication Skill Builders, 1988.

“Although the exact speech breakdown and its severity varies from child to child, children with verbal apraxia fail to establish the full repertoire of English phonemes, that is, the set of articulatory gestures requisite for producing all the English sounds. Each child evidences less than normal ability to imitate a speech signal (phonemes, syllables, words). These children’s spontaneous emission of speech patterns, as well as their imitated speech production, demonstrates faulty articulation, difficulty with combining and sequencing phonemes, and a struggle to deliver speech.”
Gerald Chappel, “Childhood Verbal Apraxia and Its Treatment,” Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, 38, 3.

“In DAS, the child has difficulty carrying out purposeful voluntary movement sequences for speech in the absence of paralysis of the speech musculature.”
Edythe Strand, Ph.D., “Childhood Motor Speech Disorder Treatment,” Seminars in Speech and Language, Vol. 16, No. 2, May 1995

“… the differential diagnosis ‘developmental apraxia of speech’ has been assigned to a subset of children who differ from children with other developmental speech disorders in that their articulation errors are accompanied by apparent difficulty in producing and sequencing the volitional (voluntary) movements (non-imitative) that generate speech.”
Megan Hodge, Ph.D., “Assessment of Children with Developmental Apraxia of Speech,” Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4 (2), 1994

“In its purest form DAS is a disorder of the ability to translate phonemic and linguistic codes to differing planes of movement over time.”
Deborah Hayden, “Differential Diagnosis of Motor Speech Dysfunction In Children,” Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4 (2), 1994

“DAS is a motor speech disorder in the ability to regulate control over movement sequences. DAS is a separate disorder that requires a motor treatment, although it will probably co-occur with other neuromotor deficits. DAS is remediable if the clinician knows that control of speech movement must be the focus of treatment.”
Paula Square, “Introduction,” Clinics in Communication Disorders, 4 (2), 1994.

“Developmental apraxia of speech is a neurological disorder that affects the planning and production of speech (Davis, Jakielski, & Marquardt, 1998). A child with DAS exhibits speech deficits in the absence of paralysis or weak musculature. DAS is a loss in ability to voluntarily position the articulators (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) on a consistent basis when speaking. This disorder interferes with the child’s sequencing of sounds into words. In other words, the child has the ability to produce the sounds, but when he/she tries to purposefully plan speech, the articulators do not always function together properly.”
S. Whitebread, C. Dvorak, and K. Jakielski , “Treatment Effects on Speech Intelligibility in Developmental Apraxia of Speech,” Presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1999.