Childhood Apraxia of Speech



Childhood Apraxia of Speech: An oral motor speech disorder that involves difficulty planning and coordinating movements of the muscles that control the articulators (lips, tongue, teeth, jaw, pharynx, velum). This is not caused by muscle weakness or paralysis. The child’s brain has trouble moving the articulators required for speech.


General signs/symptoms of Childhood Apraxia of Speech include:

  • A Young Child:
    • Infant does not babble or coo
    • Delayed first words and missing sounds in their words
    • Trouble combining sounds
    • Limited consonant and vowel sounds
    • Deletes or substitutes difficult sounds with easy sounds
  • An Older Child:
    • Inconsistent sound errors
    • Understands language much more than he/she can speak
    • Separates syllables in words
    • Errors in voicing, such as a voiceless sound replaced by a voiced sound (e.g.,gar instead of car)
    • Difficulty imitating sounds or words they have said correctly before
    • Groping when attempting to produce sounds or coordinate the tongue, jaw and lips
    • Increased difficulty producing longer words or phrases clearly than shorter ones
  • Other Potential Problems:
    • Difficulty eating or swallowing
    • Delayed language
    • Trouble with fine (e.g., writing)or gross motor (e.g., running) movements
    • Hypersensitive or hypo-sensitive in their mouth (e.g., may not like brushing teeth)