Early Signs

The earliest signs of CAS may not seem to have anything to do with speech at all. Since CAS is a motor speech disorder, many children with CAS may intially present with what might be termed “oral apraxia” before they even speak. My daughter had many of these symptoms but I completely overlooked them at first. In retospect, they all make sense.

Some of these things E was able to do spontaneously but not on command. Others she could not do at all.

Difficulty with:

  • Kissing (making a pucker)
  • Smiling
  • Making raspberries
  • Sticking out his or her tongue
  • Blowing out candles or blowing bubbles
  • Licking a sucker or an ice cream cone
  • Imitating a funny face
  • Eating

Actual early linguistic symptoms include:

  • Limited or absent cooing or babbling as a baby
  • First words are late
  • “Pop out” words – words you hear your child say once or twice but never again – may make you question your own hearing
  • Trouble with vowels – an SLP once explained to me that she felt trouble with vowels was a sure sign of CAS, children with other speech disorders or delays struggle with consonants, but typical babies learn all of the vowel sounds on their own before they reach a year old
  • Consonant and vowel repertoire is limited
  • Uneven language development- may be able to produce a more difficult sound (like /s/) before an easier sound (like /d/)

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