Apraxia of speech (usually abbreviated as AOS,or else known as acquiredapraxia of speech, dyspraxia or verbal apraxia) is a motorspeech disorder. Patients suffering from this apraxia have difficulties totranslate their speech plans into motor plans, or else to say what they mean. Instead,they tell either something similar or even completely different to what theyintended to say. This disorder can affect both children and adult people, andit is caused by the damage of the part of the brain responsible for speech.
Sometimes, AOS can be associated with someother medical problems. Neurological damage (damage of the brain) may causelanguage problems and apraxia of speech, as well as the weakness of the musclesneeded to produce the speech.
What Are AOS Symptoms
People suffering from this disorder experienceproblems with their speech, sometimes referred to it as robotic speech. They haveproblems with the sequence of the sounds in words, although they know the wordsthey want to say. The problem is located in their brain, which doesn’t knowwhich muscle to move to make the words sound as they should sound. Instead, thesepeople end up saying something completely different than they wanted in thefirst place.
Speech problems might include difficulties withimitations of speech sounds or non speech movements (sticking the tongue out). Theirspeech is usually slow and the errors they make are different each time theytry to say the same word, which may be the source of frustration for thepatient. Automatic speech and some simple everyday sentences can be preserved,and people might still be able to say “how are you” or something similar, but inserious cases, these patients could be completely disabled to make any sound.
What Is the Treatment for AOS
Speech language pathologist will diagnose thecondition and look for potential muscle weakness of swallowing problems, andthen recommend the appropriate treatment plan.
Most patients need to slow down their speechto be able to say everything properly, and the therapist suggests slowingdown and/or learning how to slow down and say all the sounds that make theword(s).
The treatment usually involves “re-training” ofthe speech muscles to make the right sounds and place them orderly to form thewords. People are guided to exercise their speech muscles and repeat words overand over again, in order to “teach” their muscles how to do it.
Serious cases of apraxia of speech might causepatients to use simple gestures or some electronic equipment, to be understoodproperly.