What is Apraxia of Speech (AOS)?
Apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder in which the messages from the brain to the mouth are disrupted, and the person cannot move his or her lips or tongue to the right place to produce sounds correctly.
What causes AOS?
Common causes of AOS include stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI), tumor, surgical trauma or neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease.
What are the signs and symptoms of AOS?
The severity of apraxia depends on the nature of the brain damage. Some signs and symptoms include:
Reduced/slow speech rate
Sound distortions and substitutions, additions or omissions of sounds in words
Mixing up syllables (e.g., "disaur" instead of "dinosaur”)
Sound and syllable repetitions (e.g., “ccc cat” instead of “cat”)
Consonant errors greater than vowel errors (e.g., “minosaur” instead of “dinosaur”)
Disrupted speech fluency with attempts at self-correction (e.g., “rain rain rainbow” instead of “rainbow”)
For individuals suspected of having AOS, a comprehensive assessment is conducted by speech-language pathologists (SLP).
Treatment for apraxia of speech
The goal of treatment is to help the individual achieve the highest level of independent function for participation in daily living. Speech therapists work with apraxia patients on skills including:
Speech production using strategies for repairing breakdowns in communication (e.g., repeating, rephrasing, using gestures, writing).
Using augmentative and alternative forms of communication, including gestures, manual signs, electronic speech output devices and context-specific communication boards.
Modifying the environment - reducing background noise, maintaining eye contact and decreasing the distance between speaker and listener.
Learn more about speech therapy at Good Shepherd by calling 1-888-44-REHAB (73422) or by contacting us online.