Siloed vs. Interprofessional approach: Speech language pathologists' and occupational therapists’ perspectives on comorbidity of childhood apraxia of speech and sensory processing disorder

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Background: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a neurologic pediatric speech sound disorder characterized by impaired movements required for speech production. While potentially existing in isolation, CAS is a motor-based condition that may frequently co-occur with sensory processing disorder (SPD), challenges with receiving, understanding and responding to sensory information. Purpose: This study aimed to reveal shared understanding of CAS and SPD, integral to differential diagnosis and prognostication by skilled occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) and speech language pathologists (SLPs). Methods: Via reflexive thematic analysis, this study analyzed responses from SLPs and OTPs elicited from focus group and survey, evaluating perspectives on potential co-morbid presentation and collaborative treatment of CAS and SPD. Discussion: Key findings support unification of common clinical language when treating children where CAS and SPD each serve an agreeable ‘soft-landing’ function for less acceptable terms of globally occurring disorder. Conclusion: Intentional interprofessional approaches to serve clients with complex challenges can improve clinicians’ shared knowledge while expanding conceptualization to co-morbid presentation.

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Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice



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