Reading Disorders and CAS

There are a few research studies that have examined reading development in children with CAS.  A recent study (Miller, et. al, 2019) studied the reading skills of children with a history of CAS and compared their reading skills to a larger group of children with other speech sound disorders.  The researchers found that 65% of the children with CAS were classified as low-proficiency readers compared to 24% of the children with other types of speech sound disorders.  They also found that deficits in oral language and phonological awareness skills (the realization that words are made of sounds) were the greatest risk factor for low proficiency reading.  This research suggests that all children with CAS should be considered “at risk” for reading problems, and that early intervention and careful monitoring of reading development is especially important for children with CAS.

Ways Parents Can Help

Here are some things parents can do to help their child with CAS develop reading proficiency:

Start early

Although early positive reading experiences are important for all children, they are especially important for children with CAS. There are many, many things parents can do to at home. It's never too early to start reading to your child! See "Pre-Readers" below for more information.

Monitor language and phonological development

Make sure that your speech-language pathologist (SLP) is monitoring language and phonological development and ask for things you can do at home to encourage these important skills. Annual assessment is important, especially prior to kindergarten, because these skills develop rapidly between the ages of 3-5. Assessment is critical to understanding if children are keeping pace with developmental expectations.

Educate and collaborate

When your child begins school, alert your child's teacher and SLP to the correlation between CAS and problems with reading development, as they may not be aware. Ask them to proactively assess your child’s skills. Share any recent assessment information with the school. Ensure that the teacher and school SLP are collaborating. The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) states that literacy intervention for children with speech/language impairments is part of the scope of practice of SLPs because they have unique knowledge about how speech/language deficits impact literacy that classroom teachers may not.

Be your child's cheerleader

Be understanding and supportive if reading is difficult for your child and especially if they avoid reading. Figure out ways to keep your child motivated to read consistently at home including continually encouraging positive, shared book reading. It is okay if you help your child or take turns reading pages. Extra practice is critical for children who are struggling. Don’t give up!

Positive Early Reading Experiences

It’s never too early to start setting the stage for reading success.


Three to Five Year Old Children

Helping prepare your child to read.

Teaching Pre-Verbal Children to Read

Even if your child is not yet speaking, they can still learn to read.

Beginning Readers

Five to Six Year Old Children

Learn more about what is helpful for children starting to learn to read.

Becoming a Fluent Reader

Seven to Eight Year Old Children

Ideas to help your child transition from learning to read to reading to learn.

Reading Disorders

What you need to know if your child is struggling to read.