Apraxia of speech is a motor-speech programming disorder resulting in difficulty coordinating the oral-motor movements necessary to produce and combine speech sounds to form syllables, words, phrases and sentences.

Apraxia of speech is often treatable with the appropriate techniques. It is not just a simple articulation disorder, nor a phonological disorder but a motor-speech programming disorder. Traditional therapy as well as minimal pairs techniques are often unsuccessful.

Early signs and symptoms

Lack of cooing or babbling as an infant, first words may not appear at all, pointing and grunting may be all that is heard.

Delayed first words with many phonemes deleted or replaced with other easier phonemes.

Lack of a significant consonant repertoire: child may only be able to use /b,m,p,t,d,h/.

All phonemes may be imitated well in isolation, but any attempts to combine phonemes are unsuccessful.

Words may be simplified by deleting consonants or vowels, and/or replacing difficult phonemes with easier ones.

A syllable is favored, and used for all words.

A word (may be real or a nonsensical utterance) is used to convey other words.

Single words may be articulated well, but attempts at further sentence length becomes unintelligible.

Oral scanning or groping may occur with attempts at speaking.

A whole phrase may be clearly said and never heard again, or cannot be imitated.

Other fine-motor problems may be present.

Verbal preservation: getting stuck on a previously uttered word, or bringing oral-motor elements from a previous word into the next word uttered.

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