Similar to Articulation and Phonology disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) also affects how children produce speech; however, there is a fundamental difference between CAS and Articulation/Phonology: a child with CAS experiences a motor planning/coordination issue. What this means is that the brain has difficulty coordinating some or all of the following things:
- Telling the respiratory system how much air to push out of the lungs
- Telling the vocal folds (“voice box”) when to start and stop vibrating to make sound
- Activating different muscles so that sound resonates in a specific way in either the mouth or nose; or
- Moving the tongue and lips to control air flow and produce vowels and consonants
CAS is not a typical developmental pattern, and it isn’t something that children will outgrow on their own.
Unfortunately, treatment for CAS is something professionals in the speech field still need to learn more about; however, there is some evidence that more frequent treatment sessions can give the most benefit to children. Additionally, individual treatment sessions may produce more progress than group sessions, and children may also do better being seen in multiple, natural environments. VocoVision’s ability to work in the home is the perfect approach to all three of these treatment options. Many school-based SLPs carry large caseloads, and may not be able to provide these extra, individual sessions to children with CAS. Bringing intervention into the home via VocoVision, and the potential to interact with people and activities that are part of the child’s natural environment, increases the child’s likelihood of generalizing motor speech practice to other situations.