What is Apraxia?
A poorly understood neurological condition which makes it difficult for individuals suffering from it to perform certain motor movements is known as apraxia. The milder forms of this condition is known as dyspraxia. It can occur in an individual in different forms.
Some of the different types of Apraxia that experts essentially know of:
- Speech Apraxia – when an individual is unable to speak properly
- Limb-kinetic apraxia – when they are unable to move arms and legs
- Ideomotor apraxia
- Ideational apraxia
- Orofacial apraxia – difficult in movements involving facial muscles
There are quite a few Apraxia symptoms that individuals must know about. It must be noted that this is a very complex condition and the symptoms and severity can differ from individual to individual. We have listed some of the most common ones across the different types below for your reference and knowledge:
- Delayed first words as a child
- Having trouble with longer words
- Speaking the say words in different ways
- A slower rate of speech
- Having to move the jaw, lips and tongue several times in order to be able to make a sound
- Taking long pauses between syllables
- Distortions of sound, substitutions and sound additions too
These are some common reasons for Apraxia that people experience.
Who is at Risk?
There are various Apraxia risk factors as it can happen to anyone due to multiple reasons. Because of this it becomes difficult to point out who is at a risk for it and who is not. However, experts have been able to identify certain possible risk factors related to this. We have mentioned them below for your reference and understanding of the same:
- A child between ages of 18 months and 2 years has to chances to face difficulty in speech due to this condition
- Children between ages of 2 to 4 years are also prone
There are many factors that lead to Apraxia causes which have been identified by health experts however they have not been able to fully understand the cause behind why this happens in the first place. However, they have some theories in place for why this happens and we have discussed below for your understanding some of these causes in details:
- May be due to genetic
- An issue with the brain’s signals to the muscles for the purpose of speech
- Cerebral palsy
- A neuromuscular disorder
These are some common causes that are known to cause this condition.
How is Apraxia diagnosed?
For Apraxia diagnosis, a professional speech therapist or pathologist will need to perform a certain number of Apraxia tests as there is no one test to understand what is causing this to happen. The doctor may Have to conduct multiple tests to get to the root cause of the problem since the symptoms vary from individual to individual so diagnosis through one method can get difficult. Some of the different method of diagnosis includes:
- They will take complete medical history of the child and examine it thoroughly
- They will then look for different groups of symptoms which might cause this condition
- They will also work to rule out other conditions of hearing disorders or muscle weakness.
How is Apraxia treated?
The main method for Apraxia treatment is through speech therapy both for children and adults. The approach will vary from individual to individual. Some of the commonly practised methods has been mentioned below for you:
- Getting the individual to repeat the same word or phrase multiple times
- Practising how to say specific syllables
- Observing how mouth of the therapist is moving
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How can Apraxia be prevented?
Apraxia prevention is difficult as the exact cause behind why this happens is still unknown. However, there are certain preventive measures that families can take towards an individual right from the time they are toddlers to minimize the risk of this happening in the future. These can be done easily at home as well. Some of these have been mentioned below for your understanding and consideration:
- Ensuring that the child has a habit of reading books and practising reading out loud from a young age
- Having conversations with the child and observing how they speak