Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurological speech disorder in which a child is unable to properly execute the motor plans required to speak accurately and coherently. This disorder can affect speech development and timely identification and intervention can make a significant difference in the child’s development.

We will discuss here regarding the most common early signs of childhood apraxia of speech so that parents and teachers can easily identify it on time and get the right treatment.

What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Childhood speech apraxia is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for a person to speak. In this case, the person’s brain is unable to control the speech muscles correctly and the person is unable to form proper sounds due to improper coordination.

This disorder affects the speech production of the child, causing the child to have difficulty pronouncing words correctly. This problem is not due to physical impairment (minor/major accident) or paralysis, it is only due to poor coordination between the brain and speech muscles.

5 Early Signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech

1. Delay in Speech

It has been seen that sometimes children do not speak their first words until the age of 2 years, which is not expected in a normal developmental sequence. If a child is unable to speak simple words like “mom”, “dad” by the age of 12-18 months, it may be a matter of concern and you need to consult to a speech and language pathologist.

2. Limited sounds and vocabulary

In this case, a child often use limited variety of sounds and words to point out a thing. They often use only a few sounds (early few characters or last few characters of a word) and find it difficult to learn and pronounce new words.

For example: a child who use “b” to point out “ball”, “book”, “bed”, or child take pause excessively before beginning to speak may have problems learning new sounds and words correctly.

3. Abnormal sequence of sounds

Children with apraxia of speech often do not sequence sounds and words properly. They sometimes pronounce the same word differently at different times.

For example: saying “banana” as “bana” and sometimes “nana”.

4. Decreased speech clarity

Sometimes you will notice that children with childhood apraxia of speech often have unclear speech and they unable to pronounce certain words correctly.

They are often unable to pronounce words fully, making it difficult to understand their speech. This problem is especially evident when the child tries to pronounce long or complex words.

5. Difficulty in full pronunciation

Children are unable to pronounce all parts of words correctly. In that case, they often omit the beginning or end sounds or pronounce them incorrectly. For example, “butterfly” may be pronounced “bye.”

Other related signs of apraxia of speech in children

1. Particular difficulty in pronouncing complex words

Children with childhood apraxia of speech have particular difficulty in pronouncing complex or long words. They often break up these words or pronounce the sounds in the wrong sequence.

2. Delay in motor skills

Children affected by apraxia may also have delays in motor skills, such as walking, running, and sports activities. This sign shows that there is a problem in coordination between the brain and muscles.

3. Inconsistency of speech sounds

Children often pronounce the same word differently at different times. This inconsistency can be an important sign that the child is affected by apraxia of speech.

Diagnosis and treatment Childhood speech apraxia

1. Diagnosis

Diagnosis of speech apraxia is done by a trained speech-language pathologist. The specialist evaluates the child’s speaking ability and confirms apraxia through various tests. This includes checking the child’s sound production, word sequencing, and inconsistency of pronunciation.

2. Treatment

The most effective way to treat speech apraxia is regular and intensive speech therapy. In therapy sessions, the child is trained to pronounce sounds and words correctly. Special attention is given to muscle coordination and sequencing. Individual therapy sessions for children can be more effective as every child has different needs and abilities.

3. Role of the family

Family cooperation and support plays a vital role in the child’s treatment. Parents and other family members can practice regularly with the child and follow the instructions of the experts by attending therapy sessions. Regular practice and encouragement at home can help the child’s development.


Childhood apraxia of speech is a serious speech disorder, which can be improved in few months by taking top-class treatment from an experienced speech and language pathologist. It is very important for parents and teachers to understand this speech disorder and identify its early signs so that a child can seek expert help at the right time and cure it!

With regular speech therapy and respective speech related exercises and full support of family, it is possible to improve speech and language skills in the child. This will help him to communicate with confidence in public with clear phrase, words and sound and you can notice a significant difference in the child’s overall development.

If you notice any of these signs in your child, consult a speech-linguistics specialist without delay. Correct diagnosis and treatment can lead to a bright future for your child.

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