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Apraxia of Speech

Speech Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech in Sydney

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a condition where children experience difficulty voluntarily making sounds for speech and putting these sounds together to form words and sentences. CAS can vary in severity including the degree of symptoms and the intensity of treatment required. With regular speech therapy from a Speech Pathologist, Childhood Apraxia of Speech can be treated and managed.

About Childhood Apraxia of Speech

What are the early signs a young child has Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

There are early signs of CAS which can be identified in babies and toddlers. You may notice that young children experience various problems with mouth movements, speech development or making sounds. These include: 

  • Speech delays.
    • If your child is not beginning to speak at the same time as other children their age. There are, however,  normal variances and children will all have slightly different times to begin talking.
  • Babies not cooing or babbling.
    • If your baby is not playing with sounds, this may indicate they are experiencing difficulty forming sounds.
  • Movements of the Mouth/ Jaw.
    • If your baby is having trouble swallowing, sucking or chewing this is another sign they may be struggling to make movements for speech.
  • Communication Style.
    • If your young child is only using gestures, and vowel sounds to communicate, this may indicate problems with the development of speech.

What are the key features of Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

There are various ways CAS is displayed in children. Some of the key features that a Speech Pathologist will recognise and aim to treat include:

  • Pronunciation of words.
    • Children may pronounce words differently each time they say them.
    • Children may mispronounce words by mixing up the order.
    • Children may find it easier to say shorter words than longer words.
    • There may be limited consonant sounds in the child’s speech.
  • Forming Words.
    • Children may pause and look as though they are searching for what to say.
    • They may try to speak and have difficulty moving their mouths. They may also struggle to blow, chew, suck and make certain noises or sounds.
    • Children may be unable or struggle to replicate words or sounds made by others.

What else may children experience with Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Children with CAS experience a range of difficulties with the movement of their mouths and the communication of sounds. They may therefore develop frustration or become upset that they feel unable to communicate their message. Children with CAS may also have problems with spelling or reading.

What are the causes of Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

There is no known cause of CAS. If a child is diagnosed with CAS, it does not mean they have an intellectual impairment. There is currently no evidence to support a genetic contribution or a brain abnormality as being the cause of CAS. Further research is being explored to discover the causes behind CAS.

We believe every child has the right to have access to therapy no matter where they live, so we offer online therapy services as well as services within our clinics in Bella Vista, Oran Park and Penrith, we proudly also offer our services to local Baulkham Hills, Jamisontown, Werrington Downs, Cranebrook, Glenbrook, Castle Hill, Emu Plains, Glenwood, Kellyville, Kingswood and Seven Hills residents.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your GP and they will be able to refer you to a Speech Pathologist. The team at Chatterbox Speech Pathology are experienced in treating CAS to enable your child to develop the tools to manage their condition. 

An assessment by a Speech Pathologist at Chatterbox Speech Pathology will determine whether your child is experiencing CAS or another condition that is causing their symptoms. Following this careful diagnosis, a treatment plan will be developed by your Speech Pathologist.

Treatment and Support for a Child with Apraxia of Speech

When treating CAS, the severity of the condition will impact the treatment. Your Speech Pathologist will tailor the treatment to suit your child.

In addition to one on one work with a Speech Pathologist, involvement from teachers, psychologists, family members and occupational therapists may be applicable to ensure your child has the best recovery team possible. 

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Book an appointment now to meet with one of our friendly and caring speech pathologists.