Diagnosis and testing Children's apraxia of speech is usually diagnosed by a speech-language pathologist (SLP). SLPs have extensive training and ability to treat speech disorders. To diagnose congenital apathy syndrome, the pathologist will learn about your child's history, including known medical problems. If your child has been diagnosed with a speech and language disorder based on these symptoms, you should have a follow-up conversation with your speech therapist.
When a child can try to imitate speech, then a dynamic motor speech exam is the best method for diagnosing CAS. Shriberg's main research interests are focused on the nature and origin of childhood speech disorders, including studies to identify diagnostic markers of clinical subtypes and studies to develop specific treatment technologies for each subtype, one of these disorders being apraxia of childhood speech. To answer those who disagree with this diagnostic classification, with its important implications for prognosis and treatment planning, a convincing study or research program would have to provide at least one of three types of evidence. Clearly, it is possible for an SLP to transmit that the results of a child's speech and language evaluation indicate the presence of a CAS without violating the restrictions on the use of the term “diagnosis”.
Accurate differential diagnosis is important because it guides the therapist in selecting the correct treatment method. The third type of research findings that support this diagnostic classification would be related to treatment outcomes for children suspected of childhood apraxia. According to the CASLPO, it is within the scope of SLP practice to use the term CAS to describe a set of speech symptoms observed during a child's evaluation. The speech-language pathologist will perform an evaluation to understand the type of speech disorder the child has, a process known as differential diagnosis.
As in other areas of medicine, a treatment regimen documented as necessary and sufficient to normalize a disorder supports to some extent the validity of a diagnostic category, especially insofar as the treatment differs significantly from treatments used for one or more disorders that closely resemble the target disorder. While this document is not exclusively focused on the diagnosis of CAS, both parents of children suspected of CAS and SLPs who work with children with speech and sound disorders in Ontario could benefit from reviewing this document. For example, a general practitioner may conclude, based on the results of the speech and language evaluation, that communication difficulties that appear recently in an adult patient represent aphasia (an acquired language disorder), but cannot indicate to the patient that they are due to a stroke, brain tumor, head injury, or other medical problem. SLPs (speech-language pathologists) in Ontario, with appropriate training and clinical experience in children's speech disorders, can determine that a child's speech meets the CAS (apraxia of child speech) criteria, as can SLPs in other jurisdictions.
Let me begin by pointing out that my clinical and research experience convinces me that the core problem of this disorder is adequately described by the diagnostic term apraxia of infant speech apraxia. The most convincing research evidence on the validity of apraxia of speech in children as a diagnostic classification would be a clear biological finding. The pathologist will take a very detailed history of the child's developmental history and write down any known medical problems or other problems.