What is Dyspraxia?
Dyspraxia is a speech difficulty leading to difficulties with coordinating and carrying out planned movements of the muscles used in speech. These are the muscles of the face, mouth (e.g. tongue, lips) and the lungs. Symptoms range in severity and can include:
- Difficulty initiating speech sounds and pronouncing words correctly.
- Inability to produce sound.
- Slow rate of speech.
- Unclear speech.
It may be easier to produce “automatic speech” (e.g. counting or learnt phrases such as “how are you?”)
Why does dyspraxia occur?
Dyspraxia may occur as a result of:
- Head/ brain injury.
- Brain or spinal surgery.
- Neurological disorders.
How is dyspraxia managed?
If you have difficulties speaking you will be seen by a Speech and Language Therapist. They will provide advice and support.
What can I do?
- Speak slowly.
- Over-emphasise words. Put more effort into your face, lips and tongue movements when you are speaking.
- Pause frequently.
- Use gesture and pointing to help communicate your message.
- Use writing and drawing to help communicate what you are saying.
What can other people do to help?
- Be patient.
- Give plenty of time to speak
- Reduce distractions and background noise
- Encourage them to use other forms of communication to support their speech. E.g. use gesture, drawing and write down key words.
Other sources of information about dyspraxia in adults: http://www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk/dyspraxia-adults/
Please contact your Speech and Language Therapist if you require more information.
- Last Updated:15 May 2018
- Review Date:13 May 2022
- Author:Hannah Trealor & Harriet Doyle
Dyspraxia is a speech difficulty leading to difficulties with coordinating and carrying out planned movements of the muscles used in speech.