Criteria for Differential Diagnosis of Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Preliminary Results

Beril Polat Özlem Ünal-Logacev

Purpose: The wide range of speech characteristics of childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) impedes the differential diagnosis of this disorder and causes it to be confused with different problems such as phonological disorders. In this study, it was aimed to determine the differential diagnosis features of CAS and to reveal the speech characteristics that should be included in diagnostic tests. Another aim of this study is to present a draft of a diagnostic test which will be revised in the light of the data obtained from this study. Method: For this purpose, frequently encountered differential diagnosis criteria in the literature was compared between 5 children with suspected CAS, 5 children with phonological disorders (PD), and 5 children with typical development (TD). Turkish Early Language Development Test (TEDİL) and the Articulation and Phonology Test (SST) was administered to all participants. A checklist prepared by the researchers by surveying various criteria for differential diagnosis in the literature was applied to those groups. This checklist includes inconsistency, voicing, isolated consonant production, vowel distortion, increased errors in increased utterance length, spontaneous and repetitive production differences, syllable stress and intonation features. Results: The biggest difference between children with CAS and other groups was revealed in vowel errors, syllable stress and intonation errors. These were followed by inconsistent production and voicing errors. Increased errors in increased utterance length and isolated consonant production errors were similar to each other between CAS and PD groups. No difference was observed between the spontaneous and repetitive productions of children with CAS. Conclusion: As a result of this research, it is concluded that vowel errors, syllable stress errors and intonation errors are more determinant in revealing the distinction between MEA and FB than other problems. It is believed that a test that claims to diagnose MPA must necessarily be capable of evaluating these problems.


childhood apraxia of speech, phonological disorder, differential diagnosis


ASHA (2007). Childhood apraxia of speech [Technical report]. Aziz, A. A., Shohdi, S., Osman, D. M., ve Habib, E. I. (2010). Childhood apraxia of speech and multiple phonological disorders in cairo-egyptian arabic speaking children: language, speech, and oro-motor difficulties. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 74, 578-585.

Ballard, K. J., Robin, D. A., McCabe, ve P., McDonald, J. (2010). A treatment for dysprosody in childhood apraxia of speech. J Speech Lang Hear Res., 53 (5): 1227-1245.

Boutsen, F. R., & Christman, S. S. (2002). Prosody in apraxia of speech. Seminars In Speech and Language. 23(4), 245-255.

Chenausky, K. V., Brignell, A., Morgan, A., Gagné, D., Norton, A., Tager-Flusberg, H., Schlaug, G., Shield, A., ve Green, J., R. (2020). Factor analysis of signs of childhood apraxia of speech. Journal of Communication Disorders, 87, 1-10.

Crary, M. A. (1984). Phonological characteristics of developmental verbal dyspraxia. Seminars in Speech and Language, 5(2), 71-83.

Crary, M. A., Landess, S., ve Towne, R. (1984). Phonological error patterns in developmental verbal dyspraxia. Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, 6 (2), 157-170.

Crosbie, S., Holm, A., ve Dodd, B. (2005). Intervention for children with severe speech disorder: A comparison of two approaches. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, 40 (4), 467-491.

Davis, B. L., & MacNeilage, P. F. (1990). Acquisition of correct vowel peoduction: a quantitative case study. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 33, 16-27.

Davis, B. L., Jacks, A., ve Marquardt, T. P. (2005). Vowel patterns in developmental apraxia of speech: three longitudinal case studies. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics, 19 (4), 249-274.