Childhood apraxia of speech is a type of speech disorder. It is present from birth. A child with this condition has problems making sounds correctly and consistently.
Apraxia is a problem with the motor coordination of speech. It is different from aphasia, which is a problem with the use of words.
The speech centers of the brain help plan and coordinate what a child would like to say. These parts of the brain send complex signals to the speech muscles of the face, tongue, lips, and soft palate.
Normally, all this signaling works smoothly, and a child can make all the sounds he or she needs.
With childhood apraxia of speech, something in this process goes wrong.
The speech muscles seem to work properly, and the child knows what he or she wants to say. But the brain has trouble working with the muscles to create the movements needed for clear speech.
Childhood apraxia of speech is not the same as developmental delay of speech. Developmental delay is when a child follows a normal path of speech development, just at a slower rate.
Childhood apraxia of speech can range from mild to severe. It is not a common condition. It happens more often in boys than in girls.