A child with CAS understands what needs to be said. However, CAS is a condition which does not allow the brain to move mouth muscles along with those thoughts.
If a child is younger than three years old, first words can be delayed, there are very few cooing or other sounds made by the child as an infant, and there may be issues eating. If a child is older than three years, they may seem to understand what others say better than they can speak, may have trouble with longer words or when nervous, may imitate what others say better than they can pronounce their own words, and they may also exhibit issues with motor skills, dexterity, and other issues related to reading, spelling, and writing for their age range.
Treatment focuses on increasing overall speech intelligibility and production of sounds and sequences for age-appropriate communication and language skills. Treatment approaches are determined based on the need of each child and may include motor programming, linguistic, cueing, and/or use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
Due to CAS being a motor speech disorder, repetitive and intense treatment is usually warranted in addition to working with families to allow for carryover of skills to all appropriate communication environments.