DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is an uncommon speech disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements when speaking. It's important to know that CAS is just a label for a speech disorder.
To speak correctly, your child's brain has to learn how to make plans that tell his or her speech muscles how to move the lips, jaw and tongue in ways that result in accurate sounds and words. Your child's brain also plans these movements so that he or she speaks with normal speed and rhythm.
In childhood apraxia of speech, the brain struggles to develop plans for speech movement. As a result, children with CAS don't learn accurate movements for speech with normal ease. In CAS, the speech muscles aren't weak, but they don't perform normally because the brain has difficulty directing or coordinating the movements.
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