Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Ellyn Arwood

LC Subjects

Apraxia; Children; Communication--Research; Language acquisition & language disorders; Speech Impairments


The purpose of this study was twofold. First, the study explored the pertinent cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and language literature that surrounds the diagnosis and treatment of children with Suspected Childhood Apraxia of Speech (sCAS) with the intent of finding a translational neuroeducation approach to the treatment of sCAS. The results of this literature suggest that the surface problems-phonology, morphology, syntax- are mapped onto a semantic basis. This semantic basis is feature based and people with speech sound disorders are likely to use a visual semantic feature basis. So, the literature supports a shift to a new lens that aligns with the Neurosemantic Language Learning Theory (NLLT) and that could be the basis for intervention in sCAS. Second, while traditional treatment is aimed at the acoustic motor patterns of phonological processes, this study sought to uncover what professionals who have some neuroeducation training say they do when they treat children with sCAS. Interviews were conducted with sixteen Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Educators currently using principles of neuroeducation to treat children with sCAS in order to uncover the methods that they report having used in interventions with this population. It was found that both SLPs and educators who use methods of assessment and intervention based on the NLLT reported positive outcomes for intelligibility and language function. The respondents also reported using intervention methods that align with the NLLT to a high degree. The interviews, along with artifacts provided by interview participants, served as confirmatory evidence to the findings from the literature review by demonstrating the reported change in children over time as a result of the intervention. Additional themes were found around definitions of sCAS, intervention methods and alignment of diagnostic criterion, philosophy and intervention methods among interviewees.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.

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