What is Childhood Apraxia of speech (CAS)?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. However, it is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but the brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say the words.

How could we help?

Apraxia can present in many different ways in children. It is important to have your child evaluated by one of our speech-language pathologists who can rule out other causes of speech problems. Research has proven that the sooner a diagnosis is made and treatment is started, the higher the success rate of managing Apraxia. The focus of our treatment for CAS is on improving the planning, sequencing, and coordination of muscle movements for speech production. Isolated exercises designed to “strengthen” the oral muscles will not help with speech. In order to improve speech, the goal is to practice speech patterns. The therapy sessions will focus on feedback from a number of senses, such as tactile “touch” cues and visual cues (e.g., watching him/herself in the mirror) as well as auditory feedback. With this feedback from multiple senses, the child can more readily repeat syllables, words, and sentences which helps improve muscle coordination and sequencing for speech.

If you feel that your child or a loved one is displaying any of the above mentioned problems related to childhood apraxia of speech, please call Speech Therapy Works (416) 553-0729 today to prevent further impediments. Our skilled and knowledgeable speech-language pathologists will be glad to answer any questions you may have.