The answer can be yes, no or maybe. In some cases, a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) learns to speak with a few years of speech therapy. For others, it can take many years of therapy. And with others, speech may not develop beyond a few words or sounds. In cases of pure CAS, meaning no other complications or diagnoses, then appropriate speech therapy can make a lot of difference.
When there are other diagnoses or problems present with CAS, that can complicate matters. Think of a child’s interaction with their environment like this:
- Body receives input through the five senses (taste, touch, smell, sound, sight) plus vestibular sense (balance) and proprioceptive sense (where the body is in space)
- Brain processes the input and directs movement or stores information for later use
- Body produces motor output such as walking, talking, hitting a ball, handwriting
With CAS, the problem takes place between steps 2 and 3. The brain gives the body the signal to speak, but the body does not carry out the action properly. Speech therapy primarily focuses on motor output.
This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book: The Special Needs Homemaker Series: Guide to Apraxia of Speech