Childhood apraxia of speech, or CAS, is a motor speech disorder that makes it hard for children to coordinate their speech helpers (lips, tongue, breath, voice) when speaking. CAS’s severity is different from child to child.
How is CAS different from a speech delay?
Speech delay is when a child is developing speech sounds at a slower rate than expected, but errors are consistent and mostly follow the typical order of speech sound development. A child with CAS struggles with the planning and execution of sequenced movement for speech production. Errors are often inconsistent, and more errors are noted as syllable shapes or movements increase (Sentences are harder to produce than single words.)
A child who has CAS should begin therapy with a speech-language pathologist who has experience and knowledge in treating apraxia. Therapy is different for apraxia than for a speech delay! Therapy focuses on improving the coordination of sequenced speech structure movements rather than only production of specific sounds.
Learn more about apraxia here or talk with your child’s speech language pathologist.
By Carrie Johnson, Speech Language Pathologist
Photo from Apraxia-Kids.org