Adult Speech Therapy For Acquired Apraxia of Speech

Adult Speech Therapy For Acquired Apraxia of Speech| Voz Speech Therapy Services Bilingual Speech Therapist Clinic Washington DC

When you speak, there are signals that are sent from your brain to the muscles within your mouth.

These signals tell your muscles how to move in order to produce the sounds you need.

However, in some cases, the messages from your brain to your mouth may not go through properly.

This is called a motor speech disorder.

Today we’re talking about one specific motor speech disorder – acquired apraxia of speech.

The prevalence of this disorder is not exactly known due to its common co-occurrence with other speech and language disorders, like dysarthria and aphasia.

If you have acquired apraxia of speech, you may have trouble controlling the muscles of your lips, tongue, or jaw to make speech sounds, among other symptoms.

If you’re dealing with these symptoms of acquired apraxia of speech, however, we’re here to help.

Here at Voz, we’re a speech-language therapy clinic in Washington DC that offers speech therapy services for adults of all ages.

In this week’s article, we’re going to take a look at acquired apraxia of speech.

What is Acquired Apraxia of Speech?

Acquired apraxia of speech, also known as oral apraxia or motor apraxia, is one of the many different types of motor speech disorders.

Usually this occurs in adults, but it could occur in people of any age.

With acquired apraxia of speech, the part of your brain that controls speech becomes impaired.

This is because the signals that go from the brain to your speech muscles are disrupted due to brain damage.

It’s noteworthy that your speech muscles themselves are usually fine.

In acquired apraxia of speech, the disorder occurs in the mouth, but you could also have apraxia in other limbs of the body.

If it occurs in the arms or the legs, it is called limb apraxia.

This differentiates it from childhood apraxia of speech, which is present at birth or shortly after.

Acquired Apraxia Of Speech Causes

Apraxia of speech is caused by damage to the part of your brain that controls your speech muscles.

How this occurs, however, is different for everyone.

Any type of brain damage can cause this disorder, including:

How To Tell If You Have Acquired Apraxia Of Speech

If you’ve recently experienced a brain injury, it’s a good idea to watch for signs of acquired apraxia of speech.

These may include:

  • Slow or halted speech
  • Trouble moving the mouth
  • Groping movements of the mouth when you try to speak
  • Speech that lacks your usual flow or rhythm
  • Inconsistent speech errors
  • Difficulty producing complex words or phrases
  • Distorted substitutions and additions
  • Inappropriate pauses between syllables in speech
  • Trouble with voluntary mouth movements like chewing

These symptoms usually range from mild to severe.

Usually your automatic speech, which is speech that involves words that you say all the time (hello, for example), is not disrupted.

You may not be able to produce speech sounds at all if your case is severe.

Tips For Dealing With Acquired Apraxia Of Speech

If you think you have acquired apraxia of speech, there are ways you can manage it.

Speaking more slowly can help give you a chance to think of what you need to say before you say it.

Since acquired apraxia of speech can also make it difficult to state complex words or phrases, breaking these longer words into smaller chunks may also be helpful.

Augmentative and alternative communication options can also help you convey your thoughts and ideas.

This may include singing what you’d like to say.

You use the same muscles to sing that you do to speak, but a different part of your brain controls them.

If you’re the family member or friend of someone with acquired apraxia of speech, you may be having a difficult time seeing your loved one deal with this disorder.

There are things you can do to help them better communicate as well, however.

These include:

  • Allowing your loved one as much time as they need to communicate things with you
  • Avoiding finishing their sentences for them
  • Choosing a topic to talk about before the conversation
  • Asking them to confirm if you heard something correctly, using yes or no questions

What is Acquired Apraxia of Speech?| Voz Speech Therapy Services Bilingual Speech Therapist Clinic Washington DC

How Can A Speech-Language Pathologist Help?

If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke or other type of brain injury, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

Your SLP will start with an evaluation, looking to understand how your injury affected your speech and language abilities.

In particular, they’ll look for the signs of acquired apraxia of speech as well as other speech and language disorders related to brain injuries.

These include:

From there, they’ll put together a treatment plan designed to address your unique situation.

Speech therapy is always uniquely geared toward the individual.

Considering the complexity of any treatment related to a stroke or brain injury though, it’s even more important than usual.

Your speech therapist will work with you to improve on a variety of challenges related to speech and language.

This may include things like:

  • Your ability to control your speech muscles
  • Any specific speech sound errors that occur
  • The flow, or rhythm of your speech
  • Addressing any other speech or language concerns
  • Exploring AAC options, whether temporary or more permanent

No matter the approach, the ultimate goal of speech-language therapy here is to help you function as independently as possible to be able to participate in daily activities.

Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today

Have you or a loved one recently experienced a stroke, car accident, or another type of traumatic brain injury?

If so, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a speech therapist.

We can help you determine how your experience has affected your speech, and put together a treatment plan to help address your concerns.

Book your appointment with Voz Speech Therapy today.

Voz Speech Therapy
1331 H St NW Ste 200,
Washington, DC 20005

(202) 734-4884

Voz Speech Therapy is a pediatric bilingual speech therapy clinic in Washington, DC that provides individualized services based on the specific needs of your or your child. Therapy sessions are provided in English or Spanish, depending on your child’s native language. Voz Speech Therapy es una clínica pediátrica bilingüe de terapia del habla en Washington, DC que brinda servicios individualizados según las necesidades específicas de usted o su hijo. Las sesiones de terapia se brindan en inglés o español, según el idioma nativo de su hijo.

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