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Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Speech Therapy for Childhood Apraxia of Speech in Seattle, WA

Finding the proper diagnosis and treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech can be a difficult journey. If you are concerned because your child is having a difficult time stringing sounds together or being understood by others, getting the proper diagnosis is important as there are many reasons a child’s speech can be difficult to understand. At SCT, a speech-language pathologist will be able to sort out where the difficulties lie and put together an appropriate treatment plan.

Whether you are newly concerned or have a child who is already receiving services, you may be asking yourself if you are doing everything you can to ensure their success.

To help give clear information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech which is often misunderstood, Sammamish Children’s Therapy has carefully put together this Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) page to provide you with as much information about us, our staff, and our approach as possible.

The Basics of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

CAS is a speech disorder where the brain has difficulty planning and implementing the muscle movements necessary to create speech. To achieve accurate speech production, your brain must plan and coordinate the movements of the tongue, the jaw, and the lips not only to create the desired sounds, but also to blend them at a normal speed.

With a speech-language pathologist aiding, practicing the associated movements necessary to pronounce words and syllables is a beneficial step towards treating CAS.

Here at SCT, we receive referrals from a wide variety of sources, which include pediatricians, neurologists, Seattle Children’s Hospital staff, and other families whose children we have helped. 

CAS can sometimes be hard to differentiate between other speech disorders. Some characteristics of CAS include*:

*Sourced from the Mayo Clinic.


How SCT Addresses Your Child’s Communication Diagnosis

Since recognizing and starting treatment of childhood apraxia of speech early can reduce the likelihood of it turning into a long-term problem, it is a good idea to get an evaluation for your child once any speech problems are noticed.

CAS is identified based on multiple factors that create a pattern associated with difficulty planning and implementing the movements for speech. At SCT, the tests that are administered for your child will vary depending upon your child’s age and the severity of the problem.


How SCT Addresses Your Child’s Communication Development

After an in-depth evaluation, therapists from SCT will put together a treatment plan crafted specifically for your child. Because every child is unique, there is no single approach to speech therapy shown to be more effective at treating CAS. Regardless of the specific approach decided upon, it is important that therapy include several aspects:


SCT’s Relationship-Based Approach to Therapy

 As with all therapy, success is best when the relationship between the therapist and child is strong. In order to achieve results, the child must be able to stay engaged with the therapist and imitate their movements.

The magic of working with young clients is to keep them excited and motivated to follow the therapist’s lead- SCT’s therapists excel in this area.


Additional Services from Sammamish Children’s Therapy

SCT can consult with your school’s SLP, provide support and ideas, and can even sit in on school IEP meetings if needed. We provide occasional in-home visits to help transfer skills or to set up a home program.


Common Questions about SCT’s CAS Therapy

Here are some common questions we often receive from parents about our therapy services:

Your SLP will monitor all aspects of speech and language and communicate with you if they feel you should be referred to another professional. We like to work as a team with families, so we encourage families to ask questions and be a part of the process.

Children with CAS are not developing speech along the typical developmental continuum. In the case of CAS, the speech isn’t merely delayed. It is important to get the help of a trained SLP for best results.

CAS responds best with multiple therapy sessions per week. That being said, life can sometimes get in the way of what is ideal- families have busy schedules and insurance sometimes does not cooperate. SCT will do our best to help come up with a plan to get the most out of therapy within imposed constraints.