Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that affects a child's ability to coordinate the movements of the mouth and tongue needed for speech. It is a neurological disorder in which the brain has difficulty sending the correct signals to the muscles involved in speech. Children with CAS know what they want to say, but have difficulty planning and sequencing the movements necessary to produce speech sounds, syllables, and words.
Children with CAS often have trouble saying words clearly, consistently mispronouncing sounds, and struggle with longer or more complex words or sentences. It may also be difficult for them to imitate sounds, and their speech may be choppy or inconsistent.
Diagnosis and treatment of CAS typically involves working with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in this area. With appropriate therapy, most children with CAS can make significant improvements in their speech and communication abilities.