Apraxia of Speech in Childhood: A Comparison of Acquired and Developmental Forms

E Strand


A great deal of attention has recently been paid to developmental or childhood apraxia of speech.  Acquired apraxia of speech also occurs in early childhood. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a child with acquired apraxia of speech, in order to draw comparisons with those characteristics seen in adult acquired apraxia and those seen in children (without identifiable lesions) who would be considered by many to have CAS.  The case study will include background and developmental history, and description of language and speech characteristics.  Acoustical and perceptual analysis of speech characteristics at 3 points in time over a ten month period will be presented in order to provide a descriptive summary of early speech and language acquisition following stroke.  A summary of initial treatment outcomes will also be presented. Discussion will focus on models of speech production and how definitions and characteristics of acquired and childhood apraxia fit with those models. Although we would expect children who have not yet developed speech to differ in adaptations and compensations to motor planning deficits, the fundamental characteristics of the speech disorder must be coherent with the models that seek to explain motor planning and programming.