Communication Services

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Apraxia of Speech

Acquired Apraxia of Speech

Apraxia of speech (AOS) is a "neurologic speech disorder that reflects an impaired capacity to plan or program sensorimotor commands necessary for directing movements that result in phonetically and prosodically normal speech"- ASHA.  AOS has also been referred to in the clinical literature as verbal apraxia or dyspraxia. 

AOS frequently co-occurs with dysarthria and/or aphasia and sometimes with limb apraxia, oral apraxia, apraxia of gait, and apraxia of swallowing. AOS does not involve muscle weakness, paralysis, spasticity, or involuntary movements typically associated with dysarthria, or language comprehension or production deficits that characterize Aphasia.

The salient features of AOS might include:

  • reduced overall speech rate;

  • phoneme distortions and distorted substitutions, additions, or complications;

  • syllable segregation with extended intra- and inter-segmental durations; and

  • equal stress across adjacent syllables.

These features are consistent with deficits in the planning and programming of movements for speech and are noted to increase with greater syllable length and motoric complexity.

AOS can improve over time (e.g., in acute stages of stroke recovery, in response to therapy), remain stable, or worsen (e.g., primary progressive apraxia of speech).

Acquired Apraxia of Speech

Other Perceptual Speech Characteristics