Apraxia and Autism Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Apraxia and Autism Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Autism and Apraxia are NOT the same disorder but often occur together.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is an oral motor speech disorder which affects a child’s ability to produce speech sounds in isolation, syllables or words.

This is not due to any type of weakness but instead is related to a motor planning difficulty where the message from the brain to the speech muscles (e.g., mouth, lips, tongue etc) is challenged.

The child is thinking, knows what s/he wants to say, but is unable to coordinate the necessary movements to say the words.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

As a Speech- Language Pathologist (SLP), I have been evaluating and treating children with CAS since 1979 and understand the importance to test for apraxia.

An early diagnosis, especially with a child who is non-verbal, will allow for the most appropriate intensive speech-language intervention for both communicative challenges.   

In 2015, this article in the ASHA Leader confirmed what was clear to those of us who are clinical SLPs working with children with autism. Furthermore, it reports that 66% of children diagnosed with autism were also identified with apraxia.

As a pediatric SLP… Photo: CCC

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month, follow this Center for online and activities and events in the community. 

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Autism affects 1 in every 59 children & at the same time it affects all of us! Learn how an SLP can help your child with autism

New stats 4/26/18 announced by the CDC.

Together, we ARE making a difference.

Lori Savage Grayson