Discussion in General

Apraxia is a neurological condition marked by the inability to perform learnt (familiar) motions on demand, despite the fact that the instruction is comprehended and the movement is willingly performed. The desire and ability to move are both there, but the person is unable to carry out the action.

Patients with apraxia are unable to utilise tools or execute tasks such as tying shoelaces or buttoning clothes, among other things. The demands of everyday life are tough to satisfy. Patients with aphasia who are not impacted by apraxia can live a pretty normal life; those with substantial apraxia are nearly always dependent.

Apraxia manifests itself in a variety of ways:

  • The inability to perform precise or accurate motions with a finger, arm, or leg is known as limb-kinetic apraxia. The inability to use a screwdriver, for example, despite the fact that the person affected understands what has to be done and has done it before.
  • The failure to carry out an instruction from the brain to replicate limb or head motions done or suggested by others is known as ideomotor apraxia.
  • Ideomotor ataxia is similar to conceptual apraxia, but it implies a deeper dysfunction in which the purpose of instruments is no longer recognised.
  • The inability to plan a precise movement is known as ideational apraxia.
  • Buccofacial apraxia (also known as facial-oral apraxia) is the inability to control and execute facial and lip motions as whistling, winking, coughing, and so on. This type of apraxia includes verbal or speech developmental apraxia, which is the most prevalent type.
  • Constructional apraxia impairs a person’s ability to draw, copy, and create basic diagrams and figures.
  • Oculomotor apraxia is a disorder in which individuals have trouble moving their eyes.
  • Apraxia is thought to be caused by a brain lesion that affects the neural circuits that contain learned movement patterns. It’s frequently a sign of neurological, metabolic, or other brain-related problems.

What is Apraxia of Speech (AOS)?

Apraxia of Speech (AOS) is a speech sound problem that affects children. It is sometimes referred to as acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). Someone with AOS has difficulty saying what they want to communicate in a clear and consistent manner.

AOS is a neurological condition that impairs the brain circuits that plan the sequence of motions needed to produce speech. The brain understands what it wants to say, but it lacks the ability to organise and sequence the necessary speech sound motions.

AOS is not caused by speech muscle weakening or paralysis (the muscles of the jaw, tongue, or lips). Dysarthria is a distinct speech disease caused by weakness or paralysis of the speaking muscles. Dysarthria and AOS might coexist in certain persons, making identification of the two disorders more challenging.

AOS varies in intensity from individual to person. It might be so minor that it just affects a few speech sounds or causes difficulty pronouncing phrases with many syllables. Someone with AOS may be unable to communicate effectively through speech in the most severe cases, necessitating the use of alternate communication modalities.

Messages must go from your brain to your lips in order for speech to occur. These instructions instruct the muscles on how and when to move in order to produce sound.

The messages do not get through correctly when a youngster develops apraxia of speech. Even if the child’s muscles are not weak, they may be unable to move their lips or tongue in the correct manner. The youngster may not be able to say much at all at times.

A child with CAS has a clear idea of what they want to express. The issue is not with the child’s thinking, but rather with how the brain instructs the mouth muscles to move. CAS is also known as developmental apraxia or verbal dyspraxia.

CAS is not an issue that children outgrow, despite the usage of the term “developmental.” Without therapy, a child with CAS will not learn speech sounds in the normal order and would not advance. The child’s speech may be improved with a lot of effort.

Causes

A motor speech problem in children is apraxia of speech. Something in the kid’s brain prevents messages from reaching the mouth muscles, preventing the youngster from producing proper speech.

The reason is usually unknown in most situations. CAS is not a condition that can be “grew out of,” rather it is a disorder that requires therapy to progress.

How many children suffer from childhood apraxia of speech is unknown. The number of children diagnosed with the illness looks to be rising, but it’s difficult to track how it’s evolved over time.

The following are some of the elements that have an impact on the increase in diagnoses:

  • Professionals and family are more informed about childhood apraxia of speech.
  • CAS research is now more widely available.
  • Examining and identifying problems at a younger age.

What Causes Speech Apraxia in Children?

Types of Apraxia and Causes, Symptoms of Apraxia of Speech (AOS) | 2021
Apraxia

What causes childhood apraxia of speech is still unknown to researchers. Some researchers believe it has something to do with a child’s general language development.

Others believe it is due to a malfunction with the brain’s messages to the speaking muscles. The brain structure of children with the disease has not been observed to differ significantly in imaging studies.

A child’s childhood apraxia of speech might be a symptom of a greater problem, such as:

  • Cerebral palsy is a condition that affects people’s ability to move their bodies.
  • Autism.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Galactosemia.
  • A number of mitochondrial diseases.
  • Muscle and nerve problems.
  • Other forms of mental illness.

It’s possible that the disease is passed down through the generations. A family member with a communication issue or a learning impairment affects a large number of children with the disorder.

Types

Varied forms of apraxia have slightly different effects on the body:

Types of Apraxia and Causes, Symptoms of Apraxia of Speech (AOS) | 2021
Apraxia

Apraxia of the Limbs (Limb-Kinetic Apraxia)

A person with limb-kinetic apraxia is unable to perform precise and coordinated motions with a finger, arm, or leg. People with limb-kinetic apraxia may know how to use a tool, such as a screwdriver, and may have done it previously, but they are now unable to do the same action.

Ideomotor Apraxia is a kind of Apraxia that affects the ability to

People with ideomotor apraxia are unable to obey a verbal order to mimic other people’s motions or to follow movement recommendations.

Conceptual Apraxia (CA)

Similar to ideomotor apraxia, this type of apraxia affects the hands. People with conceptual apraxia are also unable to complete multi-step activities.

Ideational Apraxia (IA)

The inability to plan a specific movement is a symptom of ideational apraxia. They may struggle to follow a set of instructions, such as dressing or bathing.

Buccofacial Apraxia (BA)

Buccofacial apraxia, also known as facial-oral apraxia, is characterised by the inability to control facial and lip movements.

Apraxia of construction

Constructional apraxia affects people’s ability to copy, draw, or assemble simple diagrams and figures.

Apraxia of the Oculomotor System

The eyes are affected by oculomotor apraxia. This form of apraxia affects people’s ability to make eye movements on demand.

Verbal Apraxia (VA)

The motions required for speech are difficult for those with verbal or oral apraxia. They may have difficulty generating sounds and comprehending speech rhythms.

What are the Signs & Symptoms of Apraxia?

It’s crucial to keep in mind that AOS is a complicated illness with varying degrees of severity and symptoms from person to person. It may be quite moderate in some cases, with the person experiencing just minor difficulty with a few sounds or phrases.

In more extreme situations, a person may have a hard time communicating at all. Furthermore, some persons with AOS may have only a few symptoms, while others may have numerous.

Types of Apraxia and Causes, Symptoms of Apraxia of Speech (AOS) | 2021
Apraxia

Symptoms of AOS in children

These are some of the signs and symptoms of AOS in children:

  • Delayed utterances.
  • Only being able to make a limited number of noises.
  • Syllables or sounds that aren’t arranged in the correct sequence.
  • Pronouncing the same word in a variety of ways.
  • Long gaps between sounds or difficulties switching sounds and phrases.
  • Stressing the wrong syllable of a phrase or giving equal weight to all syllables.
  • Having difficulty with lengthy words.
  • Having trouble mimicking what someone else is saying.
  • Having to create a sound by moving the lips, mouth, or tongue numerous times.
  • They appear to be able to understand spoken language better than they are able to speak it.

Symptoms of AOS that have Developed

The symptoms of acquired AOS are identical to those of childhood AOS in many ways. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • A slower speaking pace.
  • Sound distortions, which can include sound additions or replacements.
  • Syllables separated by lengthy gaps.
  • All syllables in a word the same degree of stress.
  • A few times moving the lips, jaw, or tongue before speaking.

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