A Survey of Clinicians With Specialization in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2019 Nov 19;28(4):1659-1672. doi: 10.1044/2019_AJSLP-19-0034. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Abstract

Purpose Little is known about how clinicians develop expertise in childhood apraxia of speech (CAS), a rare speech disorder with heterogeneous presentation. The purpose of this survey study was to examine the beliefs and practices of clinicians specializing in CAS. Method Speech-language pathologists who self-identify as having expertise in CAS (n = 165) completed an online survey regarding influences on clinical practice and beliefs about CAS. Practice patterns and perspectives regarding CAS were analyzed for respondents who self-identify as having expertise in CAS, across 4 experience bands (1-5, 6-10, 11-15, and 15+ years). Results A majority of the respondents to this survey provide treatment to preschool-age children with CAS. Respondents report features used in differential diagnosis aligned with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's (2007) technical report, with inconsistency as a key feature. Results suggest that continuing education courses are highly influential in the perceived development of expertise and perspectives regarding CAS. Respondents expressed uncertainty about comorbidity of CAS with other communication disorders. Overall, beliefs and practices are relatively uniform across levels of clinical experience. Conclusions Practices and perspectives of clinicians who self-identify as having expertise with CAS are influenced by factors noted in previous literature. Results of this survey highlight the need for research on the development of expertise in the clinical management of CAS, updated consensus statements that reflect advances in current research, clarification regarding comorbidity of CAS with other communication disorders, and evaluation of continuing education opportunities. Supplemental Material https://doi.org/10.23641/asha.9755459.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apraxias*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Specialization*
  • Speech Disorders*
  • Speech-Language Pathology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires