Speech LangAbbie - Childhood Apraxia of Speechuage Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a neurologically based disorder of speech motor control, the diagnosis of which is challenging, especially for children under the age of 3 years. Children with CAS experience significant difficulty in planning and sequencing the precise and coordinated movements of the jaw, lips and tongue required for speech production. Speech sounds, words and phrases are not produced with the automaticity or intelligibility that occurs in normal development.

There is currently a lack of assessment and treatment materials as well as research in this area of motor speech disorders, as well as a world–wide tendency toward over–diagnosis. The American Speech Language Hearing Association developed a technical report in 2007 (see www.asha.org) defining Childhood Apraxia of Speech as follows:

"The core impairment in planning and/or programming spatiotemporal parameters of movement sequences results in errors in speech sound production and prosody."

Key features of Childhood Apraxia of Speech:

  1. Inconsistent speech sound errors in repeated productions
  2. Difficulty with smooth movement from one speech sound or syllable to the next
  3. Inappropriate prosody, e.g. stress patterns

Clinical presentation may include a coexisting dysarthria (weakness or incoordination of the speech musculature), linguistic difficulty, and/or deficits in expressive language (grammar, syntax) and pragmatic language development. Although the insights and expertise of other professionals may be recommended, assessment should be undertaken by a Certified Speech Language Pathologist who has extensive experience in working with children with motor speech disorders.


Speech Language Therapy

There is widespread agreement that effective treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech requires intensive intervention that is begun early. Speech language therapy for children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech is different from approaches used with children with other articulation difficulties or language disorders and is based on principles of motor learning:

  • A high degree of repetition to develop and establish motor plans
  • Extensive practice opportunities to maintain learned patterns
  • Use of relevant words and phrases
  • Use of prosodic approaches such as Melodic Intonation Therapy
  • Increased sensory feedback for control of movements and movement sequences
  • Work on sound and word sequences early, adding only 1 new variable at a time

PROMPT® Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech

At Donna Lederman, SLP, P.C., we have had high levels of success in working with clients with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. We believe that our clinical interventions, utilizing PROMPT therapy are successful because:

  • PROMPT provides a high level of sensory feedback about movements of the jaw, lips and tongue that are required for accurate and consistent production of speech sounds.
  • PROMPT provides information about transitions between speech sounds and syllables, building motor sequencing ability.
  • PROMPT provides feedback about timing of speech sound production, contributing to the ability to develop appropriate stress patterns.
  • The PROMPT system of therapy emphasizes extensive practice opportunities, in which sounds, syllables and words are used in varied activities and settings.
  • PROMPT treatment incorporates a high level of motor practice into words and phrases that are used in motivating play or social interaction routines.
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Clinical Note: Abbie

Abbie, a delightful and engaging child of 3-7, was referred to the practice by her pediatric neurologist. She has a diagnosis of Seizure Disorder, Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Global Developmental Delay. Low muscle tone and sensory integration disorder are also significant factors in her severe delay in developing speech production skills. At the time of referral, Abbie communicated with gestures, jargon and a few word approximations used inconsistently...  Learn More

Abbie - Childhood Apraxia of Speech


"As a parent of a severely apraxic child, you look to educate and surround yourself with professionals that can open your eyes to various therapies and strategies that will be most successful. In Donna Lederman, we have found an abundance of support, knowledge, professionalism and kindness. She provides such a unique approach to working with our daughter and spends a great deal of time brainstorming how to best reach her. She has the patience of a saint and is so understanding. Our daughter has a long journey ahead of her but to have Donna leading our way gives us all the confidence and reassurance that we could ever need. The world of apraxia and PROMPT therapy should have Donna's photo next to it! Thank you Donna...we feel so fortunate to have you in our corner!"

–Jennifer and Jason Forte

Donna Lederman, Speech-Language Pathologist, P.C.
Call Today: 516.746.2090