Apraxia is a neurological, motor disorder. There are different types of apraxia, though one of the most common types is apraxia of speech. In this condition, messages from the brain to the mouth are disrupted, making certain motor movements difficult or impossible – even though the individual’s muscles are normal. The two forms of apraxia of speech are acquired and developmental. Acquired apraxia is typically found in adults, though it can occur at any age. Apraxia of speech can cause affected individuals to lose the ability to speak coherently. These individuals know what words they would like to say, but because the brain messages are interrupted, coordinating the appropriate muscle movements to accord with the correct words becomes very difficult. This situation can be very frustrating for the individual.
Most children with apraxia benefit greatly by meeting a few times a week with a speech-language pathologist. In these sessions language exercises may include practicing stringing together sounds, using rhythm and melodies and using multisensory approaches like looking in the mirror while forming words. Some therapists may recommend learning sign language to help individuals with apraxia communicate. In some cases of acquired apraxia, symptoms may spontaneously resolve themselves.
Organizations exist to provide support to individuals and families affected by apraxia.