Apraxia

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder. The messages from the brain to the mouth are disrupted, and the person cannot move his or her lips or tongue to the right place to say sounds correctly, even though the muscles still work. The severity of apraxia depends on the nature of the brain damage.
Individuals with apraxia of speech know what words they want to say, but their brains have difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say all the sounds in the words. As a result, they may say something completely different or make up words. The person may recognize the error and try again—sometimes getting it right, but sometimes saying something else entirely. This situation can become quite frustrating for the person.
A speech and language therapist uses a combination of formal and informal assessment tools to diagnose apraxia of speech and determine the nature and severity of the condition. The muscles of speech often need to be “retrained” to produce sounds correctly and sequence sounds into words. Exercises are designed to allow the person to repeat sounds over and over and to practice correct mouth movements for sounds. The person with apraxia of speech may need to slow his or her speech rate or work on “pacing” speech so that he or she can produce all necessary sounds.


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