Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Sarah is three years old.  She was a quiet baby and a quiet toddler.  She seems to understand what she hears and she can follow directions, but she uses very few words and lots of gestures.  Lately, Sarah’s been having tantrums.  Why won’t Sarah speak?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a neurological pediatric speech disorder in which the child knows what he wants to say, but lacks the ability to plan speech movements in order to say the words. Usually, the child will have normal oral muscle tone and does not have difficulty eating, but demonstrates difficulty with speaking. Sometimes you will hear a child with apraxia say a new word, but if you ask him to repeat the word, he cannot. Many children who are not speaking by age two will be diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech.

Children with Childhood Apraxia of speech do not “grow out of” speaking difficulty.  They are suffering from coordination difficulties and need specific therapy in motor planning.  Many bright children with childhood apraxia of speech are quite frustrated at their inability to speak!

At Cornerstone Speech & Language, we use effective techniques based on word shaping. This technique begins with simple motor patterns and builds the complexity over time, and is based on a variety of research-based programs, such as those developed by Margaret Fish, Nancy Kaufman and others, in addition to the Rapid Syllable Transition Treatment.

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