Apraxia is a speech ailment that affects a person’s ability to carry out verbal requests and in many cases, to produce speech. The muscles may look and feel normal but sufferers find it impossible to make basic movements. If these muscles are in the face or mouth, a person may have difficulty speaking.
The condition may affect children at an early age and can threaten their development. The cause of apraxia in children is often genetic, which may be a side effect of autism, epilepsy or another condition.
Acquired apraxia can affect a person at any age and may be the result of a stroke or brain injury. Usually, a person with apraxia is able to speak, at least somewhat, but they may have exaggerated emphasis on certain syllables, a distortion of sounds. They may be able to understand other’s speech, but cannot produce it themselves.
1. Slower Rate of Speech
If a person once spoke at a regular pace or quickly and suddenly speaks slowly, that may be an early sign of apraxia. The slowness is quite exaggerated in many cases, and it can be difficult for sufferers to get through a sentence.
The reason for the slowness is that damage to the brain can make communication to the mouth slower. On the other hand, a person may be able to still think quite quickly, but only the speech is affected. They could, for instance, write out answers to essay questions on an exam, and yet not be able to read what they wrote in an intelligible way or so slowly that it is difficult to listen to.
When communicating with people with apraxia, have patience and allow them to get through sentences themselves without assistance unless they ask for it.