Apraxia of Speech (AoS) is a speech disorder. People with AoS have sensorimotor problems positioning and sequentially moving their muscles for speech production. AoS is caused by damage to the speech motor-programming areas of the brain in the dominant hemisphere. It should not be confused with Childhood Apraxia of Speech, which has a different cause and characteristics. A few points about AoS:
- AoS is a problem of motor speech programming – not a problem with the face, tongue, palate or other speech muscles;
- AoS is usually caused by a stroke, and sometimes by tumour, trauma or disease. Stroke survivors who have AoS often also have aphasia and/or dysarthria;
- AoS symptoms include distorted sound substitutions (e.g. “put” for “but”) and additions (e.g. “belue” for “blue”), decreased accuracy with an increased rate of speech, “groping” behaviours as they try to find the right way to say a word, and an awareness and attempts to correct speech errors.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar, and is a member of Speech Pathology Australia.