- Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has a number of possible causes, but in many cases a cause can't be determined. Doctors often don't observe a problem in the brain of a child with CAS.
- CAS may be the result of brain (neurological) conditions or injury, such as a stroke, infections or traumatic brain injury.
- CAS may also occur as a symptom of a genetic disorder, syndrome or metabolic condition.
- Abnormalities in the FOXP2 gene appear to increase the risk of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) and other speech and language disorders.
- The FOXP2 gene may be involved in how certain nerves and pathways in the brain develop.
- Researchers continue to study how abnormalities in the FOXP2 gene may affect motor coordination and speech and language processing in the brain.
Many children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) have other problems that affect their ability to communicate. These problems aren't due to CAS, but they may be seen along with CAS.
Symptoms or problems that are often present along with CAS include:
- Delayed language, such as difficulty understanding speech, reduced vocabulary, or difficulty using correct grammar when putting words together in a phrase or sentence
- Delays in intellectual and motor development and problems with reading, spelling and writing
- Difficulties with gross and fine motor movement skills or coordination
- Hypersensitivity, in which the child may not like some textures in clothing or the texture of certain foods, or the child may not like tooth brushing
Diagnosing and treating childhood apraxia of speech at an early stage may reduce the risk of long-term persistence of the problem. If your child experiences speech problems, it's a good idea to have a speech-language pathologist evaluate your child as soon as you notice any speech problems.