Retrospective Case–Control Study of Communication and Motor Abilities in 143 Children With Suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech: Effect of Concomitant Diagnosis

Document Type


Publication Date



American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Source Publication

Perspectives on Language Learning and Education

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1044/2021_PERSP-20-00283



This study sought to determine if children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) plus another major diagnosis (CAS+) are equivalent in communication and motor profiles to those with a primary diagnosis of CAS and no indication or report of any other diagnosis (CAS-Primary).


This retrospective case–control study included a chart review of 143 children who were suspected of having CAS at Children's Hospital-Wisconsin between 1998 and 2004. Participants were between 30 and 127 months old and included 107 males. Participants were assigned to the suspected CAS-Primary group (n = 114) if they had characteristics of CAS but no other major diagnosis (e.g., galactosemia) and to the CAS+ group (n = 29) if a comorbid diagnosis was present. Groups were compared across demographic, communication, and motor characteristics.


Children with CAS+ evidenced more severe motor profiles than those with CAS-Primary, χ2 = (1, n = 122) = 4.952, p = .026, and a small-to-medium effect size (Ф = .201). On average, communication profiles also tended to be more severe among those with CAS+ wherein receptive language was poorer and phonemic inventories were smaller than those with CAS-Primary.


These retrospective data suggest that comorbid diagnosis may play an important role in communication and motor development in children with suspected CAS. These exploratory findings should motivate future prospective studies that consider the role of concomitant diagnoses in symptom profile and response to treatment in children with CAS.


Perspectives on Language Learning and Education, Vol. 7, No. 1 (February 11, 2022): 45-55. DOI.