Apraxia of speech is an articulatory disorder resulting from impairment as a result of brain damage due to a stroke or head injury.
The production of speech is not affected as a result of weakness of the muscles, slowness, reduced range of movement, loss of memory, reduced hearing, or lack of reflex or automatic abilities.
Apraxia of speech is the inability to plan and coordinate the positioning of speech sounds and sequencing of the sounds required for speaking with intent or on command. It actually means a disorder in the movement of the sound production.
Sometimes the individual with apraxia can say a sound or word correctly, and other times they cannot. Speakers can often be seen struggling to get the right placements of tongue, lips, and tongue while in the midst of trying to say the word, even though they can produce the same sound or word perfectly normally another time. They often have great difficulty initiating speech because they are searching for the correct positioning of the sound or the first word in a sentence.
This is a motor speech disorder when it occurs following a neurological deficit such as stroke. It typically coexists with other language deficits which may also occur after stroke, such as aphasia.
The Speech-Language Pathologist will do a thorough diagnostic evaluation to differentiate the communication deficits following a stroke and plan a therapeutic approach designed specifically to support the needs of the individual and their family.
Rana Gupta is a speech-language pathologist with Aspire Speech Pathology service Halton Peel region and the GTA. Rana specializes in interdisciplinary and professional skills, pre-school & school age articulation, language andliteracy development, adult neurological swallowing disorders and adult neurologicalcommunication disorders. www.aspirespeechpathology.com