Apraxia – What is it?

By Alexandra Gantner, M.A., CCC-SLP, Lead Therapist

Childhood Apraxia of Speech refers to a motor speech disorder in which the child knows what they want to say, but has difficulty executing and coordinating the oral movements in order to accurately produce the words. The brain has difficulty planning these movements for speech production.

Children with apraxia can vary widely in their presentation of symptoms. Some behaviors that may be suggestive of speech motor planning difficulty include: a significant gap between receptive language (comprehension) and the ability to verbally express thoughts and ideas; speech errors that are atypical rather than developmental in nature; vowel distortions; difficulty executing specific speech patterns modeled by a speaker; general difficulty with verbal imitation; inconsistency in errors, rather than a clear pattern of substitutions, distortions, etc.; oral groping; choppy speech; frustration or withdrawal from tasks which require spoken responses; generally reduced quantity of verbalization; and pointing or other forms of communication substituted for verbal attempts.

To identify and treat Apraxia, a highly trained Speech/Language Pathologist is needed.

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