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    FreeHandout: Enhancing Motor Learning in Childhood Apraxia of Speech

    This handout is provided by Mike Bright. It is one page in length and covers main points made in the episode. It is offered for free.

Course Description and Learning Objectives

How prevalent is Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) REALLY? Is it true that CAS is the most over-diagnosed of the speech sound disorders? How does treatment for motor speech challenges differ from “traditional” arctic treatment?  The Nerd crew doesn’t dance around these hot topics in this week’s episode, although there is a catchy Kate jingle to start things off.  Before you dive in, you might want to listen to a previous episode (Maybe it’s Apraxia?: diagnostic considerations for childhood apraxia of speech) for a refresher on important diagnostic stuff to help set the stage for “...hitting the sweet spot in your [CAS intervention] dance”.  

Mike Bright is an SLP in the Boston area currently supporting kids with motor speech challenges in a private practice setting after more than a decade at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Mike has us digging deep into the grad school motor speech caverns of our brains to recall those sound intervention principles like mass vs distributed practice and constant vs variable practice.  Even with so much jargon floating around, this practical discussion provides a child-centered and movement-centered lens from which to approach this complicated clinical niche, and has some awesome tips to keep drill sessions rooted in motor learning, client interests, and FUN!  That’s right, fun drill-who doesn’t need some advice on making drills fun? 

Tune in and learn about the role of prevalence in clinical perspective-taking when supporting kids who struggle with hard to understand speech.  You’ll also dance away with some solid “stock” and individualized ideas for materials and strategies that go beyond your K-SLP Kit, but still to hold research evidence and motor learning principles at their core. You’ll no doubt walk away with some big ah-ha moments because “When you look at it through the lens of movement, it makes so much sense!”  You can learn more about Mike here.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe the prevalence of childhood apraxia of speech?
2. Describe three considerations for target selection for children with CAS.
3. Describe five ways to vary speech production practice that support motor learning.

Course Presenters

Mike Bright, MS, CCC-SLP

Mike Bright is a Massachusetts-based speech-language pathologist with nearly 15 years experience helping children communicate more successfully. Trained and employed through Boston Children’s Hospital until very recently, he has developed an expertise in thinking about particularly difficult-to-understand speech. Mike was also selected in the inaugural Bootcamp provided through, and he has received intensive training and subsequent in-depth experience working with various motor speech disorders. He recently opened a private practice, Bright Speech and Language, LLC, where he provides comprehensive assessments, helping children and their families navigate the murky and often stormy waters of diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and progress monitoring.


Kate Grandbois (she/her) & Amy Wonkka (she/her

Kate and Amy are co-founders of SLP Nerdcast. Kate is a dually certified SLP / BCBA who works primarily as an "AAC Specialist." She owns a private practice with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, augmentative alternative communication intervention and assessment, and consultation. Amy is an SLP who also works as an "AAC Specialist" in a public school setting. Amy's primary interests are AAC, typical language development, motor speech, phonology, data collection, collaboration, coaching, and communication partner training and support.

Speaker Disclosures

Mike Bright Financial Disclosures: Mike is the owner of Bright Speech and Language, LLC. Mike Bright Non-financial: "Recognized by Apraxia Kids for Advanced Training and Expertise in Childhood Apraxia of Speech"

Kate Grandbois financial disclosures: Kate is the owner / founder of Grandbois Therapy + Consulting, LLC and co-founder of SLP Nerdcast.  Kate Grandbois non-financial disclosures: Kate is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. She is also a member of the Berkshire Association for Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT), MassABA, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the corresponding Speech Pathology and Applied Behavior Analysis SIG. 

Amy Wonkka financial disclosures:  Amy is an employee of a public school system and co-founder for SLP Nerdcast.   Amy Wonkka non-financial disclosures: Amy is a member of ASHA, SIG 12, and serves on the AAC Advisory Group for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. 

References & Resources

Maas, E., Gildersleeve-Neumann, C.E., Jakielski, K.J. et al. Motor-Based Intervention Protocols in Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS). Current Developmental Disorders Reports. 1, 197–206 (2014).

Maas, E., Gildersleeve-Neumann, C., Jakielski, K., Kovacs, N., Stoeckel, R., Vradelis, H., & Welsh, M. (2019). Bang for Your Buck: A Single-Case Experimental Design Study of Practice Amount and Distribution in Treatment for Childhood Apraxia of Speech. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 62(9), 3160-3182. doi:10.1044/2019_jslhr-s-18-0212

Murray, E., McCabe, P., & Ballard, K.J. (2014). A Systematic Review of Treatment Outcomes for Children With Childhood Apraxia of Speech. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 23, 486–504.

Time Ordered Agenda:

10 minutes: Introduction, Disclaimers and Disclosures

20 minutes:  Descriptions of the prevalence of childhood apraxia of speech 

15 minutes:  Descriptions of considerations for target selection for children with CAS 

10 minutes:  Descriptions of ways to vary speech production practice that support motor learning 

5 minutes: Summary and Closing


The contents of this episode are not meant to replace clinical advice.  SLP Nerdcast, its hosts and guests do not represent or endorse specific products or procedures mentioned during our episodes unless otherwise stated.  We are NOT PhDs, but we do research our material.  We do our best to provide a thorough review and fair representation of each topic that we tackle.  That being said, it is always likely that there is an article we’ve missed, or another perspective that isn’t shared.  If you have something to add to the conversation, please email us! Wed love to hear from you!


5 star rating

Motor Learning/Apraxia

Lynn Smallwood

Great podcast - could have definitely been longer - felt as though he rushed through some areas due to time constraints.

Great podcast - could have definitely been longer - felt as though he rushed through some areas due to time constraints.

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5 star rating

great title

Kimberly Robertson

I would have liked a part 1 and part 2 for this topic as it includes so much information, especially for those of us less familiar with CAS

I would have liked a part 1 and part 2 for this topic as it includes so much information, especially for those of us less familiar with CAS

Read Less
5 star rating

Accurate to describe content

Maggie Burns

Absolutely great!

Absolutely great!

Read Less
star rating