Apraxia of speech

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
- Muteness
- 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)

Useful resources: 

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Stroke Association
American Stroke Association 

Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Beata Klarowska is an American Speech Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) certified speech and language pathologist, licensed by the state of California.Beata cofounded Virtual Speech Center Inc. in 2011 and, to date, has developed more than 30 apps for speech, language, and cognition.



By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Aphasia is a language disorder acquired secondary to an injury in the part of the brain responsible for language. Aphasia is very often caused by injury to the left hemisphere of the brain. Aphasia affects language comprehension, language production, reading and writing. There are several types of aphasia; the main divisions are fluent and non-fluent aphasia. The severity of aphasia depends on the extent and the location of the brain injury.



By Beata Klarowska, M.S. CCC-SLP

Dysarthria is a neurogenic motor speech disorder resulting from muscular weakness of the tongue, lips, soft palate, larynx or respiratory muscles . Individuals with dysarthria may exhibit abnormalities in strength, speed, range, tone and accuracy of muscular movements. Dysarthria may affect speech production, voice, respiration and prosody (melody of speech). There are different types of dysarthria. Dysarthria may co-exist with other disorders like apraxia of speech or aphasia (acquired language disorder).



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