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Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

It can be incredibly frustrating for a child not to be understood by adult and other children. The
presence of speech errors is normal as children master sounds and develop speech. However, a great
number of speech errors, inconsistent mistakes and a difficulty to communicate may indicate a need for an evaluation in speech-language pathology.

Childhood apraxia of speech is a neurological childhood speech sound disorder in which the precision and consistency of movements underlying speech are impaired in the absence of neuromuscular deficits (e.g.abnormal reflexes, abnormal tone).

Childhood apraxia of speech can be confused with other speech sound disorders because many of the behaviors and signs associated with CAS are also found in children with more broadly defined speech sound disorders. It

It is important that the diagnosis of CAS not be based solely on the severity of a child’s speech sound disorder, as this may result in overdiagnosis. The speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec have sought out specialized training in the evaluation and treatment of children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech in order to provide excellent assessment and care to the children and families looking for services.

What are the signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Although childhood apraxia of speech can present itself in different ways depending on the age of the child, the severity of the disorder and the compensation strategies of the child, three consistent features of their speech are:

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  • inconsistent errors on consonants and vowels in repeated productions of syllables or words,
  • lengthened and disrupted coarticulatory transitions between sounds and syllables,
  • inappropriate prosody, especially in the realization of lexical or phrasal stress.

If you suspect that your child has a speech sound disorder, a comprehensive and dynamic assessment by a speech-language pathologist is strongly recommended. The speech and oral movements will be evaluated in several different contexts in order to obtain a complete profile of your child’s strengths and challenges. A dynamic assessment also allows of a clear conclusion of prognosis and severity. As it is incredibly important to take into consideration cultural and linguistic variables, the speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec are trained to evaluate speech sound disorders within a multicultural-multilinguistic context.

What are the treatment options?
How often does my child need to be seen?

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As childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder, it requires repetitive planning, programming, and production practice.

As such, intensive and individualized treatment of childhood apraxia is often necessary. This can often mean 2 to 4 sessions per week. However, research indicates that these sessions should be shorter in length than the typical 1 hour treatment session for other difficulties.

To the extent possible, treatment takes place in naturalistic environments, is provided in a culturally appropriate manner, and involves as many important people in the child’s life as possible to facilitate carryover and generalization of skills. Involving significant others in treatment also facilitates home practice by helping these individuals understand and target goals with the child outside the treatment setting.

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Conclusion

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a speech sound disorder that requires significant support from a speech-language pathologist to bring a child to intelligible speech. Children with appropriate support and specific motor speech intervention and practice are able to attaining the status of ‘Recovered’ apraxic. The speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec are trained to evaluate and intervene with children with speech sounds disorders in any language that is spoken at home or at school.

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Make an appointment

The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.