Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words, not related to muscle weakness (although this can co-occur). It is a motor planning difficulty where the brain has problems moving the lips, jaw, and tongue to coordinate for speech. Usually your child will be able to understand language much better than they can talk.
Children with CAS may be a late talker, and may only have a few consonant and vowel sounds. They may have problems combining sounds and will simplify words by replacing difficult sounds with easier ones. The sound errors can be inconsistent. Your child may also have difficulty imitating speech, but imitated speech is clearer than spontaneous speech.
Research shows the children with CAS have more success when they receive frequent (3-5 times per week) and intensive treatment. When this is not possible due to practical reasons, parents are advised to practise daily at home. The focus of intervention for CAS is on improving the planning, sequencing, and coordination of muscle movements for speech production. Your child will benefit from multi-sensory feedback, e.g., tactile "touch" cues and visual cues (e.g., watching him/herself in the mirror) as well as verbal feedback.
Techniques that we use for CAS:
The key is “Practise, Practise, and Practise”. With time and commitment from families, and proper guidance from the SLT, children with CAS are able to soar and inspire us with their amazing abilities.