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Motor Speech Disorders

Apraxia is a difficulty that results in problems putting speech sounds together correctly. It varies in severity from being unable to put any meaningful words together to mild speech errors in words.


Individuals are generally aware of the errors they make and are sometimes surprised by their mistakes. Speech errors are inconsistent and are variable on repeated attempts. On some occasions when the individual repeats the word they reach the target word. Speech errors include; substituting one sound in a word for another such as “lello” for yellow; mixing up sounds in words such as “tefalone” for telephone; omitting sounds in words such as bush for brush. Frequency of errors can increase with longer words and phrases.


Automatic speech, such as counting or saying days of the week, is generally less impaired than spontaneous speech. Days of the week, prayers, alphabet and songs are often the only words that some people with severe apraxia can produce after a stroke.

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