I specialize in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, and there is A LOT of talk about when you can diagnose. Based on my clinical expertise, research, and experience in my practice, a CAS diagnosis is about speech not age. If a speech-language pathologist tells you, “He’s not three yet, so we can’t diagnose,” this is INCORRECT.
Can it be difficult to diagnose before three? YES! This is why a skilled SLP with expertise in CAS can walk you through what they are listening for, what sounds like CAS, what doesn’t, and why a diagnosis can or cannot be ruled out. If a child is language delayed, there will not be enough speech to hear the markers of CAS.
If a little can’t imitate or has very limited speech, regardless of age, a CAS diagnosis is NOT appropriate.
I’ve seen clients where I suspected CAS but they actually had a language delay. I’ve suspected CAS but once enough speech was produced, a severe phono disorder was apparent. I suspected CAS in a 2 year, 1 month old, and it WAS CAS.
If you can elicit speech and subsequent multiple repetitions for a differential, diagnosis a CAS diagnosis IS appropriate. Find a specialist who doesn’t just know about CAS; they actively treat and have expertise.
Erin Gaul MS, CCC-SLP is an expert in CAS treatment and differential diagnosis. Contact today for a consult or evaluation.