What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is an oral motor speech disorder. Children with CAS have problems repeating sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness around the mouth. The brain of a child with CAS has difficulty coordinating the intricate movements of the lips, tongue, and jaw that are needed for speech. Children with Apraxia know what they would like to say, but their brains scramble the messages sent to their mouths.
Is There a Cure for Childhood Apraxia of Speech?
Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a neurologically based condition. Even though it is many times referred to as ‘Developmental Apraxia’, it is not a disorder that children will just grow out of. For many kids with more common developmental speech disorders, such as stuttering, speech production will follow in a typical learning pattern just at a slower rate of speed. CAS kids do not have regular learning patterns and will not make progress without treatment. There is no cure, but with appropriate, intensive intervention, significant progress can be made. Early intervention is key. Most children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech are diagnosed right around the age of 3. The child must receive frequent speech therapy with a licensed Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) who is specially trained in treating CAS. With proper therapy and frequent practice at home, most children with CAS resolve around the age of 8 and do fine in school. CAS children are often above average in intelligence and many go onto college.
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