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Int J Speech Lang Pathol. 2010 Feb;12(1):58-68.

Through the magnifying glass: Underlying literacy deficits and remediation potential in childhood apraxia of speech.

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  • 1Communication Disorders, 358 N. Pleasant St., University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA 01003-9296, USA.


Interactions among psycholinguistic deficits and literacy difficulties in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) have been inadequately studied. Comparisons with other disorders (Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and phonological dyslexia) and the possibility of reading remediation in CAS warrant further research. This case study describes the speech, language, cognitive, and literacy deficits and therapy gains in a girl aged 11;6 with severe CAS and borderline IQ. A comprehensive assessment of literacy-related cognitive skills, including phonological memory and working memory capacity, language, speech production and reading skills, was administered. Treatment from 6;0 to 11;6 targeted speech sounds, oral sequencing, phonological awareness (PA), speech-print connections, syllabic structure, and real and non-word decoding. Phonological memory was similar to that of children with SLI, but working memory was significantly worse. Unlike children with phonological dyslexia, our participant demonstrated relative strength in letter-sound correspondence rules. Despite deficits, she made progress in literacy with intensive long-term intervention. Results suggest that the underlying cognitive-linguistic profile of children with CAS may differ from those of children with SLI or dyslexia. Our results also show that long-term intensive intervention promotes acquisition of adequate literacy skills even in a child with a severe motor speech disorder and borderline IQ.

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