Speech (verbal) apraxia 

In case of apraxia of speech there is a problem in speaking with a purpose. People start to falter or cannot start pronouncing a word or sentence properly.
People have to figure out which way the muscles of the mouth and jaw should move. It can be a struggle to pronounce a word correctly.


The problems are greatest when planning what you are going to say. Automatic speaking (speaking without having to think about it) is a lot better.
Our brains use fixed schedules for all the complicated actions we perform (dressing, shaving, walking, cycling, speaking, etc.).
These diagrams help us know in which order we should perform an action. Thanks to these schedules, we do not have to think about the actions we perform. We can cycle and talk, get dressed and listen to the radio at the same time, because we don't have to think about how to perform those actions every time. With apraxia of speech there is a problem with the schedule for speaking.
Speech apraxia can occur in dementia, after a stroke or other brain injury.



It may be difficult to recognize the difference between aphasia, apraxia and dysarthria.
Speech apraxia and word-finding problems can also occur during periods of overstimulation or great fatigue after brain damage.
That doesn't have to be worrying. It subsides when the overstimulation or fatigue subsides.


Daily problems

  • Speech is slow
  • Words are broken down into syllables.
  • The search for words. Often repeated attempts are made to produce the correct sound or word.
  • The sound of language can be distorted, words and sentences can sound 'weird'
  • In general, more speech problems with longer and more complex words and sentences
  • Problems with speech are inconsistent. For example, pronouncing a certain word can go well at one time, but not at all at another time.
  • Problems with the rhythm of speech
  • Particularly problems with purposeful speech, less difficulty with automatic speech such as greeting someone


Brain areas involved in apraxia of speech

In apraxia of speech, there is damage to areas of the brain involved in planning the sequence of movements required to produce speech. No clear brain areas can be identified. It depends on the underlying cause of the apraxia. For example, speech apraxia due to dementia may involve different brain areas than speech apraxia after a stroke.


Tips for apraxia of speech

  • Help from a speech therapist can be very helpful.
  • Try to practice moving your muscles in your mouth
  • Give yourself time to talk
  • Try to think of other forms of communication such as using gestures or computers
  • (for family and friends) give the person talking time and ask for clarification if you don't understand what the person means