Speech Therapy

Why Do Oral Apraxia and Speech Apraxia Go Hand-in-Hand?

A child who suffers from oral apraxia disorder is known to have weak jaw, tongue and lip movements. Due to this, he/she cannot command these to move and coordinate at will leading to late talking. Hence, the term late-talkers for children with oral apraxia.

Speech apraxia is an accompanying symptom of oral aprasia. So, why do oral apraxia and speech apraxia go hand-in-hand?

Oral Activities: Oral activities in all of us are of two types:

  • Automatic oral activities in children are those like eating where in a child does not have to motivate his jaws and mouth to open. The child might have the history of being a slow eater, but nevertheless performs the activity without much effort.
  • Deliberate oral activities like speech and talking need an extra effort from the child because the child does not have a previous practice of speaking like in adults. Here the movement becomes deliberate and the child has to motivate the coordination of all the speech articulators (jaw, tongue and lips).

Speech Apraxia in Children and Adults: There is a lot of difference in adults suffering from apraxia and children suffering from the same.

  • In adults apraxia may be the resultant of a stroke or trauma. But, they are still able to make sounds and speech, though with a little difficulty. The speech in adults is automatic because their speech articulators have been trained over the years and they have now become automatic oral activities.
  • While in children, there has been no training whatsoever and the possession of weak speech articulators which causes oral apraxia does not help in the learning process. This is the very reason that children with oral apraxia develop speech apraxia.

So, if you have been wondering why do speech apraxia and oral apraxia go hand-in-hand, this is the very reason. A child who suffers from oral apraxia is bound to suffer from speech apraxia but the vice-versa need not be true. This is because the other automatic oral activities in a child are still intact.

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