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Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS): a survey of knowledge and experience of Swedish Speech-Language Pathologists
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Speech and Language Pathology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Sinnescentrum, Department of ENT - Head and Neck Surgery UHL.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2208-0630
2012 (English)In: / [ed] Alice Lee & Fiona Gibbon, Cork University College, 2012, 143- p.Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) are seen by many speech and language pathologists (SLPs) in Sweden. It is commonly believed that these patients are difficult to diagnose and treat due to the absence of a validated list of diagnostic features (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2007) and lack of evidence for a wide range of treatment approaches reported (Morgan & Vogel, 2009). Speech-language pathologists’ perspectives on assessment of CAS have been studied by Forrest (2003). She asked SLPs about which three characteristics they thought were crucial for diagnosing CAS. The diversity of SLPs view on CAS diagnostic markers was documented. Not less than 50 different characteristics were listed, making inconsistent productions the most frequently noted feature (14.1%).  Experience and knowledge about the typical symptoms of CAS among Swedish SLPs would be a valuable first step towards a common routine for diagnosis of this group of patients in Sweden. Aim: The aim of this paper was to perform a survey among Swedish clinical SLPs regarding symptoms, praxis for clinical diagnosis and description of patients with CAS. Methods & Procedures: A web-based questionnaire was sent to Swedish SLPs working with pre- and primary school-aged children asking 25 questions about the clinicians background, years of clinical experience, skills of assessment and intervention, estimation of own competence and opinion about need for further education concerning this particular group. The SLPs were asked to estimate the prevalence for CAS based on their own clinical experience.Outcomes & Results: One hundred-seventy-five clinical SLPs with varying experience responded, which equals a response rate of 60%. About half of them usually diagnosed CAS. In the rating of typical symptoms of CAS 85% suggested inconsistent errors as the core feature of the disorder, 82% noticed difficulties with automaticity and 71% difficulties with sequence maintenance. In 88 % of answers children with CAS were considered to make slow progress in treatment and 80% estimated that these children typically had persisting difficulties and constraints even in primary school. There was a wide range of estimated prevalence figures for CAS from less than 1% to around 50%. Almost all SLPs who answered the questionnaire reported a need for further education about CAS.Conclusions: Although Swedish SLPs rated their own knowledge about CAS as insufficient, the rating of the key classification criterion for the disorder was high, as was the view that these children make slow progress in treatment. Estimation of prevalence for CAS was highly diverse, reflecting the difficulties with the broad definition and large variation within this disorder. The collected data of the Swedish clinical SLPs experience and knowledge about CAS revealed an important consensus on the core diagnostic features but also a vagueness regarding best treatment. This reflects the current knowledge in this field and will be taken into account in continuing work towards a common and evidence based practice.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Childhood Apraxia of Speech [Position Statement] 2007. Available from

Forrest, K. (2003). Diagnostic criteria of developmental apraxia of speech used by clinical speech-language pathologists. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 12, 376–380.

Morgan & Vogel. Cochrane review of treatment for childhood apraxia of speech. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2009 Mar;45(1):103-10.)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cork University College, 2012. 143- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79759OAI: diva2:544197
ICPLA 2012: 14th Meeting of the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association, Cork, Ireland, June 27–30
Available from: 2012-08-13 Created: 2012-08-13 Last updated: 2015-09-22

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McAllister, Anita
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Speech and Language PathologyFaculty of Health SciencesDepartment of ENT - Head and Neck Surgery UHL
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