What is Childhood Apraxia of Speech?

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (also called CAS) is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to speak. Childhood Apraxia of Speech is detectable in early childhood but can continue into adulthood.


Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words accurately and with the correct rhythm.


Although a child with Childhood Apraxia of Speech knows what they want to say, their brain struggles to correctly move their lips, jaw, and tongue to speak clearly and be understood.


Learning to speak is like learning to perform any skilled movement like playing the piano or knitting: at first you must concentrate on all the steps involved but with practice this process becomes automatic. While most children memorise the steps involved in speaking, children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech must continually re-learn how to produce a word or phrase by asking themselves:

  • Which sounds do I need?
  • What order do the sounds come in?
  • How do I move my lips, tongue etc. to make those sounds?
  • Which sounds or words do I stress?


Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech can become frustrated that they cannot communicate clearly or be understood. Families can also find it hard to understand why speech is so difficult for their child when for others it is often automatic or easy.

Learn more about our pharmaceutical trial for Childhood Apraxia of Speech.


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