Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech.
How Do I know If My Child Has CAS?
If your child has many of the symptoms listed below, call us for a screening or evaluation.
- Difficulty moving smoothly from one sound, syllable or word to another
- Groping movements with the jaw, lips or tongue to make the correct movement for speech sounds
- Vowel distortions, such as attempting to use the correct vowel, but saying it incorrectly
- Using the wrong stress in a word, such as pronouncing “banana” as “BUH-nan-uh” instead of “buh-NAN-uh”
- Separation of syllables, such as putting a pause or gap between syllables
- Inconsistency, such as making different errors when trying to say the same word a second time
- Difficulty imitating simple words
- Inconsistent voicing errors, such as saying “down” instead of “town”
- Vowel and consonant distortions
- Frequently leaving out (omitting) sounds
- Using speech that is difficult to understand speech
- Speaking first words late (after ages 12 to 18 months old)
- Some children have feeding challenges
- Some parents report poor sucking and feeding as infants
What Causes CAS?
It is very hard to pin point the exact cause of CAS as brain imagery does not often show the cause. However, scientific research shows that CAS can be caused by the following:
- a genetic disorder, syndrome or metabolic condition.
- a brain (neurological) conditions or injury, such as a stroke, infections or traumatic brain injury.
- motor planning difficulties (unknown reason)
Can My Child Recover from CAS?
Each person responds differently to therapy, and some people will make more progress than others. People with CAS of speech usually need frequent and intensive one-on-one therapy. Not every child with CAS will successfully communicate verbally. Some children with CAS also have other problems that prevents “verbal communication.” In such cases, we teach the child other methods of communication.
Any parent that has had a child diagnosed with CAS, will tell you it is not easy trying to get your child to say words that he or she previously said. We have treated children with CAS, some have gone on to be successful adults.
At ITS we believe in building bridges in communication.Our approach is to combine evidence based methodology, with a child friendly therapy/activities to help the child communicate. ITS therapy is tailored to the individual. We start with teaching the child power words or that is meaningful to the child. Our program is designed to get your child communicating his or her needs. as we tackle the speech problems that may occur due to CAS.