An Overview Of Childhood Apraxia Of Speech (CAS): Know The Facts

15th December 2022

Did you know that Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) occurs in 1-2 children per 1,000?

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is quite rare. Mostly, it affects more boys than girls and happens more often in kids with galactosemia, fragile X syndrome, and Down Syndrome. Sometimes it is also called verbal dyspraxia. Experts say it is a speech ailment in which the brain has a problem in getting the tongue, lips, and jaw to move properly for talking.

The fact is kids with CAS know what they want to say already, but they can't manage the muscle movements required to make the sounds, syllables, and words.

Difference Between CAS, Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia and Developmental Apraxia of Speech

Well, all of these do refer to the same condition and these three terms are used by experts interchangeably. Childhood apraxia of speech can affect any kid.

Apraxia and Dyspraxia

It is very important to note that children with apraxia also may have other language delays, problems with motor skills and coordination, difficulties in learning to read, write, and spell and so on. They require assistive devices or alternative communication approaches to aid them in class.

What causes childhood apraxia of speech?

CAS can be congenital, or it can be developed throughout speech development. Unfortunately, the exact cause is unidentified till now. In kids who have CAS, the messages from their brain to the parts of their mouth used for speech are not being sent properly. Sometimes, CAS can be the result of a developed brain injury, like a stroke, which roots nerve pathway disruptions in a child’s brain. Some evidence also disclosed that genetic conditions can lead to a CAS analysis. Studies also show that a mutation of the FOXP2 gene leads to a form of CAS.

How to identify if your student has childhood apraxia of speech?

Consider these following red flags or symptoms ---

  • Partial record of consonants and vowels (how many sounds a child makes with precise letters)
  • Restricted rise and fall of voice (pitch) while speaking (intonation)
  • Pronouncing only the simple words that have simple syllable shapes
  • The child leaves out sounds of words like saying “coo” instead of “school
  • Trouble in producing longer, more complex words and phrases
  • Vowel sound errors
  • Slower than typical rate of speech

Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms, some more co-occurring characteristics are –

  • Late language development
  • Expressive language difficulties
  • Complications in learning to read, spell, and write
  • Complications in social language/pragmatics
  • Motor clumsiness
  • Irregular orosensory perception

Several children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) have other complications that affect their aptitude to communicate.

What You Can Do?

As a skilled special education teacher, it is very important for you to work with speech-language pathologists as well as families to help ensure learners get the appropriate support. As CAS can affect various features of a student's education along with academic performance, thus, always try to keep your students with apraxia involved in the classroom.

It is also essential to remember that some children may also have additional coordination problems. Provide students with some extra time to do assignments and plenty of time to communicate their requirements. Also, remember, these children are at high risk for bullying, just like several other students with various special needs. Try to generate opportunities for association and friendships with classmates.

Giving your student the needed support as he/she grows is the best way you can take care of children diagnosed with apraxia of speech. There is no way to stop childhood apraxia of speech however, with the proper knowledge and skills that you will receive from our online special education courses, you will be able to accommodate these kids in a better way.

Usually, doctors and experts suggest multiple repetitions and repeated practice of sound sequences, words and phrases during therapy sessions. The use of different visual promptings shows how speech sounds are made as classifications of sounds are collective into words. Doctors also suggest considering the CAS as a language learning disorder. These several approaches teach children how to make speech sounds along with the rules for when speech sounds and sound systems are used in a language. Kids with CAS receive frequent and intensive one-on-one therapy, personalized to their exact speech and language needs.

To End With

To conclude, we can say that identifying and treating childhood apraxia of speech at an early stage may decrease the risk of long-term tenacity of the problem. The online special education courses prepare you to handle and support special needs children in an effective way.

Looking for earning a special education teacher training certification? If yes then call us at +91-6292150868 or drop a mail at Chat with our expert if you have any questions, send us an email to find out more.

Written By: Bindita Sinha      

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