posted May 26, 2015, 8:45 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 26, 2015, 8:46 PM ]
Cate is an endearing three-and-a-half year old girl who was diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) just before she started treatment at our clinic.  Children with CAS have a difficult time commanding their mouth to move the way they want it to in order to speak correctly.  CAS isn’t a problem with weak muscles. The problem is with the “wiring” or getting the message from their brain to their mouth. When a child has apraxia, it can create significant problems in learning to talk and to be understood. Children with CAS need more intensive therapy to achieve results and progress can sometimes be slow. They not only struggle with articulation, but they also have difficulty putting sentences together and using grammatical rules correctly. Often they have a high degree of frustration and can become self-conscious and withdrawn in social situations or become shy. Cate’s mom stated that Cate’s speech disorder “was creating a lot of frustration” because she couldn’t communicate her ideas or needs.   
When Cate first started treatment she was only using Consonant-Vowel (CV) syllable shapes, which severely decreased her intelligibility. She was not using longer syllable shapes in her spontaneous speech such as “puppy” or “mommy”. She also had difficulty switching vowels in the same word. Thus, a reduplicated syllable pattern such as “mama” was much easier for Cate to produce than “mommy” in which the consonants stayed the same but the vowels changed. Typically, we expect these simple movement patterns to be produced by children as young as 12 months, but they are often difficult for a child with CAS.  Initially, Cate worked very hard on producing longer syllable strands with simple consonants, which she has now mastered. Cate is now working on producing CVC words in which she must include a /p, b, m, t, s/ in the final word position. Typically, Cate says “ho” for “hot” or “mo” for “mop”. After a couple of months of hard work, she is now becoming more successful at using this syllable pattern with fewer cues from Rachel, her Speech-Language Pathologist.
Cate’s family is extremely thankful for the services they continue to receive at our clinic. Cate’s mom stated, “Rachel is so friendly and helpful, the location is convenient, the facility is nice, and it removes a tremendous stress not to worry about the financial cost of treatment…My experience here has been great, and I think it’s a very valuable community resource.”