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Self-reported communication attitudes in CAS (Keller & Maas, 2023)

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posted on 2023-01-11, 23:06 authored by Sydney Keller, Edwin Maas

Purpose: Much of the research literature on childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has focused on understanding, diagnosing, and treating the impairment, rather than examining its functional effect on children’s daily lives. This study focuses on the Personal Factors component of the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health–Children and Youth Version Framework. Specifically, the purpose was to examine the self-reported communication attitudes of children with CAS.

Method: Two validated communication attitude questionnaires were administered to 12 children with CAS enrolled in an intensive speech-focused intervention (age range: 4–10 years old). Children’s scores were compared to the questionnaires’ typically developing norms. Descriptive analyses explored relationships between communication attitude and CAS severity, caregiver perceptions of communicative participation, frustration ratings during therapy, and change in communication attitude over a brief time.

Results: Older (ages 6–10 years) but not younger (ages 4–5;11 [years;months]) children with CAS were more likely to have negative attitudes about their speech. No clear relationships were observed between communication attitudes and caregiver perceptions of communicative participation; small positive relationships were observed between communication attitude and frustration during therapy. For the younger children, there was also a relationship with CAS severity. For most children, no change in communication attitude was observed over a brief period, though one child appeared to develop more negative and one appeared to develop more positive attitudes.

Conclusions: These initial findings suggest that older children with CAS may be at greater risk for negative communication attitudes than their peers without CAS. The findings also highlight the need to include more child self-report measures in research. Further implications for CAS assessment and intervention are discussed.

Supplemental Material S1. Deidentified CAT and KiddyCAT data used in this study.

Keller, S., & Maas, E. (2023). Self-reported communication attitudes of children with childhood apraxia of speech: An exploratory study. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 32(4S), 1806–1824.

Publisher Note: This article is part of the Special Issue: Select Papers From the 2022 Conference on Motor Speech.


The authors thank the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (R01 DC017768; PI: Edwin Maas) and Temple University’s Diamond Scholars Program (award to Sydney Keller) for funding this work.