What is apraxia of speech?

Also known as: childhood apraxia of speech, CAS, AOS.

Apraxia is a neurological (brain related) disorder in which children have difficulty with some muscle movements. There are a number of forms of apraxia; one form is called orofacial apraxia where children are unable to voluntarily move some face muscles or in another form, cannot voluntarily move arm or leg muscles. All may occur in a mild or severe form.

There are two types of apraxia:

  • Childhood (developmental or childhood apraxia of speech) where the mouth and tongue cannot be moved voluntarily (there is no weakness or paralysis of the muscles) even though the child wants to speak.This results in a speech sound defect affecting the child’s ability to form words or sounds.
  • Acquired apraxia (which often occurs in adults).

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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