How to tell if your child has a speech delay or childhood apraxia of speech?


Kids usually start talking a blue streak by 18 to 24 months. But if your child is having more than the usual trouble getting the words out, ask his doctor about childhood apraxia of speech.

Different from a speech delay (where kids are just slow to reach language milestones), this is a condition in which a child can't coordinate the parts of her mouth to form words.

"The thought is there, but the message doesn't get to the mouth," says Christina Doelling, a speech pathologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital, in Columbus, Ohio.

The good news is that with early speech therapy, most kids go on to be perfectly fine, says Doelling. For more information, visit

Copyright © 2008. Used with permission from the February 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.

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