Grades 7-12

This page contains specific information on children who are verbal communicators but who may struggle with persistent speech errors such as difficulty with the /r/ sound, difficulty with complex multi-syllable utterances (core curriculum words) or with prosody or smoothness of speech. They may still be dealing with academic or additional comorbid challenges.

Speech Therapy/Diagnosis

Therapy for Older Children

Sometimes children have a milder form of CAS and may not be identified with motor planning challenges until later in school when they continue to have errors that traditional articulation therapy does not remediate. On the other hand, children who are diagnosed at a younger age and have made progress in speech therapy may fall into this category sometime in late elementary or into junior high school. Click below to see what therapy priorities change as the child becomes older.

Supporting Your Teenager as They Go Through Speech Therapy

This blog post from Exceptional Thinkers discusses ways to support your teenager through speech therapy with tips and suggestions.

How to Support Your Teenager As They Go Through Speech Therapy

Therapy For Residual Errors

As a child progresses through speech therapy, their speech becomes more intelligible and they become a more competent communicator. There are some speech sounds that seem to be harder for children to acquire (not just those with CAS). These sounds include /r/, /l/, /s/ and /z/. A child with CAS may have acquired motor plans for production of all but 1 or 2 sounds. Usually, their speech is mostly understood by others, but these residual errors are noticeable. A child may not acquire these last sounds until late elementary, middle or high school, or even into young adulthood.

Teenage Language Disorders

In some children, the speech difficulties caused by CAS may be resolved, however, there could be lingering receptive or expressive language disorders that cause difficulty succeeding in the classroom, following directions or a conversation or understanding jokes or sarcasm. This can impact social and emotional wellbeing now and into adulthood. This blog from Talkshop Speech Pathology explains what language disorders look like in a teenager and gives suggestions for how speech therapy can support them.

How Speech Pathology Can Help Teenagers with Language Disorders

Discontinuing Therapy

Has your 7th grader stopped being cooperative in speech therapy or decided they would rather be doing something else? Has your 10th grader told you their speech is fine and they don’t need therapy anymore? If so, read more about discontinuing speech therapy below.

Advice to Parents from Mark Lippert

Mark Lippert, a young adult with CAS, has advice for parents about talking to your child about attending speech therapy.

As your child gets older, and when there might be a hint that your child might move on from speech therapy in the near future, sit down with your child about what the endpoint of speech therapy looks like for them. There are two reasons why I’m bringing it up.

The first one is that it’s a significant accomplishment for your child and your whole family because you all have been on the speech therapy journey for years at this point together. You, as parents, have sat in waiting rooms filling out endless amounts of paperwork over the years. Your child has been forced to dedicate some part of their childhood going to speech therapy, as well as other types of therapy maybe. Together, you and your child deserve an equal amount of credit in the speech therapy journey. After so many years of continuously going to speech therapy appointments, it’s so ingrained in us. When they go to their last speech therapy session one day the next day, it’s all over. That’s it.

The second reason is that my parents and I never really talked about the endpoint of speech therapy for me because I didn’t really mind going to speech therapy as I got older. (I didn’t go to speech therapy as I got older during the school year, only during the summertime.) As I said before, I didn’t mind going to speech therapy. Since my mom got really involved with Apraxia Kids when they were founded in the year 2000 (known as CASANA at the time), in the back of my head I knew that other kids were going to speech therapy and dealing with the same stuff I was going through. So those two things have probably majorly skewed the results of it.

Your child might be more proactive in wanting to stop going to speech therapy. Still, I suggest that you sit down with your child and have a totally honest conversation talking about the steps for them to stop attending speech therapy.


IEP Post-Secondary Transitions

When your child turns 14, the IEP team is legally required to begin discussing and creating transition goals, which are goals that your child wants to achieve after graduating high school. This can be related to schooling (such as college, technical school, trade school etc.), living situations (such as living alone, with roommates, with parents/family), and potential career options. Once established, these goals will be evaluated yearly along with all other IEP goals. Transition goals are not typically progress monitored like other goals, but this can vary from program to program.

Additionally, once your child turns 14 they must be invited to the IEP meeting. This allows them to become an active member of their IEP team and advocate for their wants and needs. They do not actually have to attend once invited, but it could be a good experience for the child. It may also help to have your child present at the meeting to remind the IEP team of who the services are benefitting. As the child becomes older, it is also beneficial for the whole team to hear what priorities are important to them so that the goals/objectives and schedule of services are appropriate and the student feels a part of the process and is often more willing to participate.

Attending IEP Meetings

Mark Lippert, a young adult with CAS, has a few words about teenagers attending their own IEP meetings:

I would recommend bringing your kids to their IEP meeting as early as possible for them. I didn’t attend one of my IEP meetings in high school. I made a significant mistake by not attending the IEP meeting. In the IEP meeting I missed, there was a major change for me in high school, which was not in my best long-term interest (or short-term interest, either). They thought they were helping me, but they were massively holding me back. With that being said, I would heavily recommend checking in with your child 2 to 4 weeks into their school year or semester. Talk to them about how their classes are going for them. Maybe ask them if they find their new classes too easy or too hard for them.

See the Resource section below for more information about post high school programs.

What is an IEP?

This article answers some of the most frequent questions we hear from parents new to the IEP process.

This lists the most common acronyms heard by school staff during the IEP process along with links for additional information.

This lists the most common acronyms heard by school staff during the IEP process along with links for additional information.

This article answers some of the most frequent questions we hear from parents new to the IEP process.

This lists the most common acronyms heard by school staff during the IEP process along with links for additional information.

This session, by a clinical psychologist who advocates with parents for school based services, explains the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process including terms, acronyms, and parents’ rights. She includes tips for parents for navigating this often daunting process.

What if My Child No Longer Qualifies for an IEP?

Sometimes children “graduate” from speech therapy as their articulation is age appropriate and very intelligible. But they may still need some supports in their classroom. A 504 plan can help bridge the gap from speech therapy to no services.


Tips for Parenting Teenagers

This blog post from Child Mind Institute gives tips for keeping the parent-child relationship strong during the tricky teen years.

Check out additional articles related to parenting teenagers, mental health of teens and going to college

Psychosocial Effects of CAS in Adolescents and Adults

Children with severe speech sound disorders that persist beyond elementary school age are at increased risk for anxiety, depression, inattention, and social problems. If there is a comorbid language difficulty, the risk is even higher. Read a summary of several articles which looked at psychosocial challenges in groups of adolescents and adults diagnosed with CAS.

Resources for Mental Health in Children and Adolescents and Adults

This website by iReviews has published (2022) a list and description of apps, websites and services for helping children through adults be proactive and overcome challenges around mental health including stress, anxiety, depression and other concerns.

45 Tools and Resources for Student Mental Health

Blogs from Young Adults with CAS

We asked several young adults to write out a response to several questions about how they advocate for themselves and how CAS still impacts their daily lives. Their messages are ones of lessons learned, hope, struggles, thriving, and perseverance. Most importantly, no one is alone in their journey.

How to Give Back

Once a teenager gains more confidence and has found their voice, they may start thinking about how they can help others. There are many things a teen or young adult can do to give back to the apraxia community that has provided support over the years to individuals and their families.

Attend, volunteer, help organize or even speak at a local
Walk for Apraxia in your area.

Mentor/be a pen-pal or big brother/sister to a young child with apraxia. Contact Apraxia Kids to learn more.

Be the Voice and raise awareness in your community through events or fundraisers.

Volunteer to help or speak at the Apraxia Kids National Conference.

If you are 18 or older, join an Apraxia Kids Facebook support group to post your story or encouragement to families. If you would like to moderate a group or start a new Apraxia Kids group, please contact us at

Share your story & apraxia journey on your personal social media, write a blog or record a video to talk to parents or younger children to encourage them or give tips.

Submit resources to share with others such as books, camps or organizations in your area.

Keeping Active

It is important to build on strengths and continue to learn new skills outside of speech. There are organizations that run programs for children through adulthood at all different ability levels. Children can also benefit from participating in other activities where planning motor movements are worked on such as sequencing dance moves, ball skills (catching, throwing, kicking, and batting), or playing a musical instrument. The psychosocial benefits from these type of fun activities are far reaching, as well – gaining confidence, making friends with common interests, and reduction of stress/anxiety. Look for sports or activities in the community and school to participate in. Most areas have a local Special Olympics organization that has a variety of sports and other activities to become involved in as a participant or as a volunteer!

Here are some examples of organizations that are localized to a specific state, but similar organizations can be found in most states.

Way Point Adventure – This non-profit educational organization uses adventure based programs to transform the lives of individuals with disabilities and their communities in Lexington Massachusetts.

Access Sport America – This non–profit organization inspires higher function and fitness for children and adults living with challenges and disabilities through high-challenge sports and training throughout Massachusetts.

Core Foundation – This non-profit organization provides academic, social, recreation, therapeutic and work-skills programs in Reston, Virginia.

Developmental, Academic, and Learning Challenges

Study Tips

Children with CAS often need help with assignments, which can be in the form of things you can do to help them successfully complete homework, as well as accommodations that can be put into place in all of their classrooms and at home.

Neuropsychotherapy & Education Services for Children and Adolescents (NESCA)

There are clinics that offer numerous services such as neuropsychological evaluations, postsecondary transition services, consultation, therapy, and counseling services such as the one below. This one is located in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and also has a summer transition planning program for those transitioning to college or other paths, as well as parent workshops. Parents can search for similar clinics in their area.


Transitioning from High School to Post-secondary Education

Once a child turns 14 years old, the school district is required to begin discussions with the student and family around what the student will do post high school. This will allow for the school to develop plans to help the student be successful after high school. That transition can include attending a 4 year college or university, a 2 year community college or a vocational training program. Many colleges and universities offer programs that provide a variety of supports to students so they can be successful including college level classes, vocational training, and help in obtaining a job. There are programs for students who plan to continue to live at home, as well as ones for those who choose to live in a dorm or in a supported house with other young adults.

A Transition Guide to Postsecondary Education and Employment for Students and Youth with Disabilities
This link is from the Department of Education, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and has a guide to help transitions from high school to the next step and a letter on the importance of collaboration with vocational rehabilitation services to share with your child’s school.  The guide is applicable across the US.

Think College Institute for Community Inclusion
This extensive website has articles and resources around transition programs and post-secondary experiences for students with disabilities and a state guide highlighting secondary colleges.

Colleges with Robust Student Support Services
Apraxia Kids with the help of volunteers, has compiled a list of colleges across the US that have robust student support services to help students with any type of disability succeed while enrolled in college courses.

The article below has resources at a few different colleges that help with transitioning from high school to different types of programs. Many of the programs are specific to a state or area, but provide an example of what types of programs/resources are available and we encourage searching for these kind of programs within your area.

  • Some key search terms in google include: aspire, rehabilitative support, vocational training support, excellence in disabilities, special colleges for students with disabilities, colleges with learning support programs, college experience program for disabilities, comprehensive transition program track, and post secondary program for individuals with disabilities.
  • Key search terms on a college or university website include: student support services or program, assist, disability support, disability, support, transition, accommodations, accessibility, resource, supplemental instruction and learning center.
  • Key search terms on a vocational school website include: supported employment, vocational rehabilitation services, and ability employment

Examples of College Programs Supporting Students with Disabilities

Job Resource

Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is a website that has resources and information on workplace accommodations, assistive technology assistance and starting a new business for employers and individuals. They also offer free consultative services by phone, email, JAN-on-Demand and Live Chat.

Available Services for Children with Disabilities

Most states have websites with information in that state on services available for parents of children with disabilities. The one below in Massachusetts provides parent training and information to help families with children with disabilities from birth to adulthood in the areas of education, transitions, and family engagement among others. Parents should search for sites in their state.

Federation for Children with Special Needs