Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to speak. Children with the diagnosis of apraxia of speech generally have a good understanding of language and know what they want to say. However, they have difficulty learning or carrying out the complex sequenced movements that are necessary for intelligible speech.
According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 2007), the three most common features in children with apraxia of speech are:
- Inconsistent errors on consonants and vowels in repeated productions of syllables or words (for example, a child says the same word differently each time he tries to produce it).
- Difficulty producing longer, more complex words and phrases.
- Inappropriate intonation and stress in word/phrase production (for example, difficulty with the timing, rhythm and flow of speech).