Apraxia of Speech




Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a speech disorder that impacts a child’s ability to make accurate movements when speaking. With CAS, the speech muscles are not weak, but they don’t perform normally because the brain struggles to connect to the muscles responsible for planning speech movement. To speak correctly, your child’s brain needs to teach their speech muscles how to move the lips, jaw, and tongue in ways that produce accurate sounds and words with normal speed and rhythm.


  • Acquired
    • Stroke or a traumatic brain injury
    • Tumor in the brain
    • Illnesses affecting the brain
  • Developmental apraxia
    • Delay in speech sound acquisition
    • Higher incidence if other family members have a history of communication and/or learning disability
    • Some causes unknown


A speech-language pathologist who is knowledgeable about childhood apraxia of speech will conduct a comprehensive speech-language evaluation to assess the speech characteristics and severity of their speech problems.

A comprehensive oral sensorimotor examination in conjunction with other formal and informal assessments will assess if your child has difficulty getting their jaws, lips, and tongue to the correct positions to produce speech sounds in words, phrases, and sentences.

According to the American Speech-Hearing Language Association (ASHA), characteristics that are considered hallmarks of CAS can provide a differential diagnosis from an articulation and phonological processes disorder.

  • Difficulty moving smoothly from one sound, syllable or word to another
  • Groping movements with the jaw, lips or tongue to make the correct movement for speech sounds
  • Vowel distortions, such as attempting to use the correct vowel, but saying it incorrectly
  • Using the wrong stress in a word. (e.g., “banana” as “BUH-nan-uh” instead of “buh-NAN-uh”)
  • Using an equal emphasis on all syllables (e.g., “BUH-NAN-UH”)
  • Separation of syllables, such as putting a pause or gap between syllables
  • Inconsistency, such as making different errors when trying to say the same word a second time
  • Difficulty imitating simple words
  • Inconsistent voicing errors(e.g., “down” instead of “town”)


Here at First Expressions Speech-Language Pathology Services, Inc., we are trained to help your child who has (or whom you may suspect to have childhood apraxia of speech) by individualizing your child’s treatment plan to teach them about the muscles responsible for producing speech and language and by practicing producing speech sounds across the word hierarchy during engaging and meaningful activities. 

Because every child is different and unique based on their individual needs, there is no one-way approach to treating childhood apraxia of speech. However, we are trained in the treatment approach PROMPTS for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets which incorporates multiple domains of learning into helping a child learn how to sequence their muscles to produce speech sounds in words, phrases, and sentences in a more effortless way.


Ready to schedule a visit?

Fill out a Request for Services Form

Still have questions?

Give us a call @ 951-587-6973