Apraxia of speech is a neurogenic motor- speech disorder secondary to damage to the parts of the brain; responsible for motor programming and sequencing. Apraxia of speech does not include muscular weakness, coordination or sensory loss. Facial muscles move but they have difficulty executing the program necessary for appropriate movements/articulatory postures. Individuals with apraxia of speech know what they want to say but have difficulty saying it.
Characteristics of apraxia of speech :
- Sound substitutions, omissions , or distortions- (e.g., “lake” may become “wake” or “ewk”)
- Struggling behavior- such as groping
- Inconsistency of error
- Initiation difficulties
- Difficulty with complex, longer words
- Difficulty imitating
- Slow rate of speech
- Automatic speech (e.g., “thank you, ” or “hello”) is better than volitional speech
Characteristics of severe apraxia of speech :
- Limited inventory of speech sound (e.g., able to say just a few sounds)
- Automatic speech (e.g., “thank you,” or “hello”) is not better than volitional speech
- More predictable errors
Other types of apraxia include oral and limb apraxia. The individual with oral apraxia may not be able to protrude ,or lift the tongue, or smack the lips volitionally. Limb apraxia affects the arms and legs. Individuals may have difficulty making a fist on command despite functional muscles. Apraxia of speech may or may not also occur with oral or limb apraxia. Apraxia of speech may co-exist with aphasia or dysarthria.
Who suffers from apraxia of speech?
- Stroke survivors
- Individuals with head traumas, or tumors
- Individuals with degenerative neurologic diseases (occasionally)
- Individuals with toxic-metabolic disease (rarely)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Stroke Association
American Stroke Association