Apraxia or dyspraxia is a neurological disorder which impedes one’s ability to move the tongue and lips with the precision needed to speak. This incoordination may also affect one’s ability to chew and swallow. The speech of a person with apraxia has numerous sound errors and often sounds slurred or run together. In the most severe cases of apraxia, an individual may be unable to speak. It can often be differentiated from simple articulation disorders because of the lack of a consistent error pattern.
Apraxia affects both men and women of all ages. Generally, the term used for children born with the disorder is dyspraxia. The same condition in children is also often referred to as: Childhood Apraxia of Speech (AOS), Developmental Dyspraxia, and/or Developmental Apraxia of Speech (DAS). There is no known cause for dyspraxia in children. When the condition arises later in life it is termed apraxia or acquired apraxia of speech. Apraxia is most often the result of a cerebral vascular accident (CVA) otherwise known as a stroke.
For more information on Childhood Apraxia of Speech watch the video below and visit www.apraxia-kids.org.
For patient's who have had a CVA (stroke) and experienced the loss of communication that can sometimes result from a CVA, there can be a misdiagnosis of the type of communication disorder exhibited. The video below helps clarify the differences between aphasia (language loss) and apraxia: