Evaluations usually include a combination of standardized testing, clinical observations, and parent interview. When appropriate, reviews of other evaluation reports and interviews with teachers and other professionals can help provide a more thorough assessment. Once completed, a report is generated which includes a description of the child’s skills and areas of need, recommended goals, a treatment plan, and referrals if needed.


A treatment plan typically includes 1-3 sessions per week of direct one-on-one treatment, focusing on individualized and measurable goals.  Parent education is an integral part of the process and may be done through direct involvement during therapy sessions, observation, conversations following sessions, and/or written notes. 

Upon receiving our autism diagnosis when my son was 3, finally realizing why he’d lost speech and now struggled to communicate, we were connected with Ashley Smith. I was a new autism mom, overwhelmed and feeling inadequate, unable to communicate with my son. Ashley bridged that gap with extreme patience, teaching me in every session as she worked with my boy. Fast forward to now, my son is 8, and has moved from non-verbal to minimally verbal, and his vocabulary and enunciation keep growing. We are experiencing new miracles almost daily. Ashley gave me the confidence and the tools to replicate what she did in sessions, and I’m forever grateful for her expertise as well as her gentle manner of teaching.
— DeeDee S.

About CAS and Pediatric Speech and Language Development


Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS)

Messages need to go from your brain to your mouth to speak. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. If your child has apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly. Your child might not be able to move his lips or tongue to the right place to say sounds, even though his muscles are not weak. Sometimes, he might not be able to say much at all.

A child with CAS knows what she wants to say. CAS is a problem with her brain getting her mouth muscles to move, not with how well she thinks. You may hear CAS called verbal dyspraxia or developmental apraxia.

Even though you may hear the term "developmental," CAS is not a problem that children simply outgrow. A child with a developmental speech disorder learns sounds in a typical order, just at a slower pace. If your child has CAS, he will not follow typical patterns and will not make progress without treatment. It will take a lot of work, but your child’s speech can improve.

For more information about CAS visit the Childhood Apraxia of Speech Association of North America (CASANA) at


Preschool Language Disorders 

Some children have problems understanding, called receptive language. They may have trouble following directions, answering questions, pointing to objects and pictures, and knowing how to take turns when talking  Children may also have problems talking, called expressive language. They may have difficulty asking questions, naming objects, combining words to form sentences, and using correct grammar (ex. pronouns, verbs).


Preschool Speech Sound Disorders

Speech sound disorders may involve substitution of another sound, leaving sounds out, adding sounds, or changing the sound. It can be hard for others to understand children with speech sound disorders.  It is sometimes normal for young children to say the wrong sounds. For example, children may make a "w" sound for an "r" and say "wabbit" for "rabbit." They may leave sounds out of words, such as "nana" for "banana." This is okay when children are young, but it may be a problem if they keep making these mistakes as they get older.