Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder. It is not due to muscle weakness. A child with CAS has difficulty coordinating and sequencing the body parts used for speech (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue, et cetera). The child knows exactly what he or she wants to say, but has trouble planning and programming the movements to say it.
- Limited consonant sound production
- Omitting or distorting speech sounds
- Mixing up sounds and syllables of words
- More errors with longer words/sentences
- More intelligible with single words than in conversation/longer sentences
- Speech sound substitutions
- More difficulty with consonant clusters (e.g., “plane” vs. “pain”)
- Different rhythm when talking
- Groping gestures when attempting to speak
- Different intonation patterns
- Comprehension skills at or near typical for cognitive level
- Variable expressive language abilities due to difficulty planning and programming speech movements
- Possible general body apraxia/motor discoordination
- Improved performance with visual feedback
- Improved performance with tactile/touch feedback
Everyone, even babies and infants, makes choices. Children need to practice making choices in order to learn how to make good choices. When children have choices, they feel a sense of control over their environment. This is important to developing their confidence and self-esteem in the future. It also helps manage acting out and difficult behaviors.
- Limit the choices. Only give two items to choose from. “Would you like the bear book or the farm book?”
- Make one choice something your child does not like: “Do you want strawberries or kiwi for snack?”
- Show the real objects if your child is having trouble choosing between two items.
- Talk about poor choices. We learn from mistakes! Ask questions that make your child think about her actions: “How do you think that made Mom feel?” or “Was that a good choice to draw on the wall?”
- Give your child the chance to make choices, such as choosing their snack, picking a toy for show-and-tell, selecting an outfit to wear.
- Let your child make a choice about a disliked activity: “When we brush your teeth, should we use bubblegum toothpaste or mint?” Do not ask if they want to do the activity.
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