Imagine that you woke up one day and suddenly couldn’t speak. You could think of the ideas you wanted to share, you knew the words to use, but you just couldn’t get your mouth to say them. This is what daily life is like for children with childhood apraxia of speech. They know what they want to say, but they simply can’t say it. This can make it difficult for them to do well in school or make friends, and it can negatively impact their self-esteem over time. Keep reading to learn what childhood apraxia of speech is and how speech therapy can help your child overcome this condition.

What Is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder that impairs a child’s ability to plan and coordinate the movements needed for speech. Think of it as a communication error between the brain’s intentions and the muscles of the lips, tongue, and jaws. When these two parts communicate well, speech comes easily; but when the signals can’t get through or are misunderstood, speech becomes much more difficult.

Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

The most common signs of this condition include:

  • Makes inconsistent speech sound errors 
  • Has a limited ability to create speech sounds
  • Gets frustrated when attempting to communicate verbally
  • Learns new words but forgets them quickly
  • Has to repeat a word several times to say it correctly
  • Struggles with speech quality (tone, emphasis, rhythm, etc.)
  • Pauses between words or syllables in words
  • Avoids situations where they have to speak.

Why Early Intervention Is Crucial for Speech and Language Struggles

Speech and language are complex skills that take time to master. Early intervention is vital because the longer a child struggles with these skills, the harder it will be for them later in life. If a child falls behind on early milestones, it becomes much more challenging to catch up, especially as they enter school. Early intervention ensures that your child is prepared for their education and lays a foundation for their future success.

Free Developmental Screening

If you’re concerned about your child’s development, you can take advantage of our free online developmental screening. This tool is a convenient way for parents to know with certainty if your child is achieving their developmental milestones or if they need extra support to achieve their brightest future.

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