Ava's speech continues to improve in subtle ways. She's talking all the time. Her sentences are often multi-word sentences. She's a full conversational partner in the household. She listens to the conversations around her and tries to participate. She initiates new conversations. She is trying to sing songs. Slowly she's starting to use consonants in the middle of words and put some on the ends of words. Her vowels are usually correct now. The consonants that are missing are still missing, but they are consonants you wouldn't necessarily expect a young two year old to be using like /f, v, k, g, r, l, ch, J, s/. She still has difficulty with more complex syllable structures like C1V1C2V2, but those would be difficult for many typically developing early two year old children too.
She looks so different from the child who less than four months ago had only three "words", very few sounds, couldn't imitate, and scored at the 4 month old level on the early intervention speech and language assessment. She had so many of the items on the checklist for early red flags for Childhood Apraxia of Speech.
Now her therapists are starting to hint that she's looking more and more age appropriate. They're starting to say that the remaining issues she has look more like articulation or phonological issues than apraxic issues. This is exactly why Speech-Language Pathologists are reluctant to diagnose Childhood Apraxia of Speech this early.
If Ava had/has Childhood Apraxia of Speech it is mild. Anyone with moderate or severe CAS would have improved much more slowly. She's in an odd place. She's outgrown many of those "early red flag" signs (although her history of those red flags will never change). She's not quite old enough for the classic signs of Childhood Apraxia of Speech to show up yet.
We're in an odd limbo place. She's made great strides that have brought her to a place that is almost age appropriate. You could argue that we could stop therapy or go to therapy fewer times a week. After all, I am a speech therapist and I'm working with her at home too. I'm also able to monitor her for signs of backsliding. However, it took therapy multiple times a week over several months (and possibly multiple kinds of supplements) to achieve those improvements. I don't want to stop too early. She wasn't making any improvements before the therapy (and supplements).
I'm just not sure what to do. Continue therapy for now? Reduce therapy and see if she's still improving or at least maintaining her skills? Stop therapy for a while and wait to see if she falls behind again?
What do you guys think?