Childhood Apraxia of Speech difficult to diagnose, but treatment works

While Laurie West, who works with speech impaired children at South Street Early Learning Center, identified more than 50 possible symptoms used to identify Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and not all of them are present in all cases, she did list a handful that appear in a majority of cases that are also easily identified:

Inconsistencies on repeated trials of the same utterance. “They might be able to say something one day and not be able to the next,” West said.

Inconsistent misarticulations at the imitative level but generally consistent at the spontaneous level. “They can mimic,” West said, “but when it comes to spontaneously saying it they have trouble.”

Reduced ability to imitate verbalization.

Increased intelligibility when producing familiar words and phrases.

Very slow progress in speech therapy.

Limited self-monitoring skills. “When they’re speaking, they don’t always realize they’re not speaking correctly,” West said.

More difficulty performing volitional oral movements (puckering lips, biting lower lip) than nonvolitional oral movements (swallowing).

Disordered basic language processes.

Words like a, the, is, are omitted in spontaneous speech.