Different diagnosis. Similar challenges.
Verbal apraxia, like aphasia, is caused by damage to the brain, but to a different part of the brain. Apraxia affects the brain’s ability to plan motor activities. Individuals may be unable to respond to the brain’s commands to make certain movements, including those that produce speech.
Someone with apraxia cannot perform tasks or movements when asked. Even though they may understand the request, the muscles needed to complete the task do not work properly. Apraxia may occur together with aphasia or with dysarthria (muscle weakness affecting speech production).
With apraxia, a person may speak a completely different word than they intended. Language may be distorted; the person may repeat things, leave out words, or put them in the wrong order. The person may struggle to find the right word or find it difficult to use longer words. At the same time, they may be able to use short, common phrases like “How are you?” and may write better than he or she can speak.
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