In this months newsletter we talk about childhood apraxia of speech or CAS. Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor disorder that effects a child’s ability to produce speech. These children know what they want to say; however, their brain has difficulty coordinating muscle movements of their articulators. The most noticeable sign of apraxia is the inconsistency of errors.
- The ability to understand language very well but are unable to speak clearly
- Have errors on vowels
- Have higher difficulty with longer words/ phrases
- Have difficulty imitating speech
- Often learning to read, spell, and write is difficult for these kiddos as well
Often parents ask if there is something they could have done differently to prevent the diagnosis or if it was due to complications during pregnancy. Currently there is no evidence that proves that complications during childbirth can cause CAS and more importantly NO there isn’t anything that you did as a parent that caused this.
The only knowledge that we have surrounding CAS is that is it caused by 1 of 3 things:
A neurological impairment during/after birth
Secondary to complex neurodevelopment disorders such as autism
Or that it is an idiopathic speech disorder, meaning we do not know the origin of the cause
Intervention for Apraxia includes intensive speech therapy which includes planning, coordinating, and sequencing oral motor movements needed for speech.
CAS remains a controversial topic in the Speech world. While Apraxia is not due to muscle paralysis, some believe muscle weakness can still be a contributing factor, while others feel it is not. What do you think? Do some kiddos also show signs of oral motor weakness? Let us know your thoughts!
For more information on on CAS visit Asha and Apraxia Kids.