What is Apraxia/Dyspraxia?

About Apraxia of Speech:  
"Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder.  Children with CAS have problems saying sounds, syllables, and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The child knows what he or she wants to say, but his/her brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements necessary to say those words.

CAS is a low incidence disorder.  Best estimates suggest that about 1 in 1000 children (0.1%) of children are affected by CAS.

A child with CAS may also present with other motor planning deficits.  Oral apraxia indicates that a person has difficulty with volitional control of non-speech movement; ie, sticking out the tongue, puckering, smiling, blowing, licking. Limb apraxia refers to motor planning deficits relating to arms, legs, fingers, etc. 

Appropriate speech therapy for CAS is three times per week for 30-minute individual sessions.  As children improve and develop speech motor control over volitional utterances, frequency can be reduced accordingly, as long as they maintain and generalize improvements.

Although appropriate treatment is intensive and takes place over a number of years, children with CAS are capable of making many gains and many are capable of developing intelligible speech.  Some children may have some minor differences in their speech, their intonation may not be perfect, or others may perceive some sort of accent. However, most children will speak in a way that others understand."

The Kiddo has been diagnosed with severe Apraxia of Speech.  He also has Developmental Apraxia, oftentimes called Dyspraxia or Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) which includes areas other than speech.

What is Dyspraxia? (AKA Apraxia) 

"Developmental dyspraxia is an impairment or immaturity of the organisation of movement. It is an immaturity in the way that the brain processes information, which results in messages not being properly or fully transmitted. The term dyspraxia comes from the word praxis, which means ‘doing, acting’. Dyspraxia affects the planning of what to do and how to do it. It is associated with problems of perception, language and thought.

Dyspraxia is thought to affect up to ten per cent of the population and up to two per cent severely. Males are four times more likely to be affected than females. Dyspraxia sometimes runs in families."


"Children with dyspraxia can experience any of the following symptoms:
  • extreme difficulty with speech production
  • poor balance and coordination 
  • vision problems 
  • perceptual problems 
  • poor spatial awareness 
  • poor posture/muscle tone
  • poor short-term memory 
  • difficulty planning motor tasks 
  • difficulty with reading/writing 
  • emotional and behavioral problems 
  • poor social skills
  • sensory issues 

The symptoms of dyspraxia depend somewhat on the age of the child. Young children will have delayed motor milestones such as crawling, walking, and jumping. Older children may present with academic problems such as difficulty with reading and writing or with playing ball games.
Developmental verbal dyspraxia can manifest as early as infancy with feeding problems. Children with developmental verbal dyspraxia may display delays in expressive language, difficulty in producing speech, reduced intelligibility of speech, and inconsistent production of familiar words."

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