Living with apraxia can be very challenging. But you don’t need to struggle with the condition on your own! We offer speech therapy services for adults with apraxia at Therapy Care in Batavia, IL.
What is Apraxia?
To speak, messages must go from your brain to your mouth. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. When you have apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly, due to brain damage. You might not be able to move your lips or tongue the right way to say sounds. Sometimes, you might not be able to speak at all. Apraxia of speech is sometimes called acquired apraxia of speech, verbal apraxia, or dyspraxia.
You can also have apraxia in other parts of your body, like in your arms or legs. This condition is called limb apraxia.
Causes of Apraxia of Speech?
Apraxia of speech is commonly caused by a severe brain injury. How severe your apraxia is depends on what type, and the severity of brain damage sustained. Typically, damage to the parts of the brain that control how your muscles move causes apraxia of speech. The damage can come from injury to the brain as a result of stroke, traumatic brain injury, dementia, brain tumors, and brain diseases.
Signs of Apraxia of Speech
If you have apraxia of speech, you will have problems saying sounds correctly. This may cause you to say something very different than what you meant. You may even make up words. For example, you may say “chicken” for “kitchen.” Or, you may say something that might not make sense, like “bipem.” You may know that what you say is wrong and try to fix it. Sometimes you will get it right, but sometimes you will still say something else. This can be very frustrating.
If you have apraxia, you may:
- Have trouble imitating and saying sounds on your own. You may add new sounds, leave sounds out, or say sounds the wrong way.
- Be able to say something the right way one time but the wrong way the next time.
- Move your tongue and lips to get them into the right place as you try to say sounds. This is called groping.
- Speak more slowly.
- Be able to say things that you say all the time—like “Hello” or “How are you?”—without much trouble. This is called automatic speech.
- Not be able to say any sounds at all. This may happen in severe cases.
Speech Therapy for Apraxia
When someone with apraxia comes to our Batavia clinic for treatment, the speech-language pathologist will work on improving how you say sounds and words. The focus of treatment will include getting your muscles to move correctly, retraining muscles to make sounds, practicing correct mouth movements, and repetition of sounds and words.
If you were already able to speak previously before acquiring verbal apraxia, we will work with you to retrain the speech muscles over time. You will be doing repetitive work with our caring staff to regain your ability to communicate.
Depending on the severity of speech apraxia, this might involve “augmentative communication.” This includes hand gestures or sign language, writing, pointing to pictures or symbols, or computer-based communication. Small victories in this area can build a platform to confidence that helps you continue improving your communication skills.
Get Apraxia Help Today
Our staff is specifically trained and qualified to assist you in regaining those muscle motor skills over time. This is a process, but you will be working with a team that is rooting for your recovery and truly invested in you as a Therapy Care client.