Childhood Apraxia of Speech (also called Developmental Verbal Apraxia), as well as other motor speech disorders, is a neurological disorder resulting in difficulty sequencing and coordinating the motor movements necessary for speech production. Children with Apraxia of Speech or motor speech planning delays have difficulty consistently sequencing oral-motor movements required to produce sounds, syllables, and/or words.   The errors in their speech are caused by a disruption in the signal from the brain to the oral motor structures required for fluid neuro-motor sequencing of speech musculature and articulators. In other words, the brain has difficulty sending accurately sequenced “movement commands” to the mouth.   Since the problem is related to coordination, it is often exacerbated when children attempt to produce speech sounds in longer more complex word structures such as multi-syllabic words. 

    A child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech may have:

                -significantly compromised speech intelligibility

                -difficulty producing vowels as well as consonant sounds

                -increase in frequency of errors as utterance increases in length and complexity (more difficulty with multi-syllabic words and sentences)

                -delayed onset of speech

                -inconsistent errors in speech- The child might say a word perfectly once and then cannot repeat the production.

                -able to imitate words easier than producing them independently

                -slow, choppy or monotone speech

                -groping or observable physical struggle with speech production


    For more information about Apraxia and motor speech planning please visit these websites:

    Apraxia Kids- http://www.apraxia-kids.org/

    Kaufman Children’s Center- http://kcccloud.com/kcc/