Apraxia is a neurological disorder that affects the ability to plan and execute purposeful movements or gestures, despite having the physical ability to perform them. It is caused by damage or dysfunction in the parts of the brain that control movement planning and execution.
There are different types of apraxia that affect different types of movements:
Ideomotor apraxia: This affects the ability to perform learned movements, such as using a toothbrush or combing hair, even though the person understands what the movement is supposed to look like.
Ideational apraxia: This affects the ability to plan and sequence a series of movements to complete a task, such as making a sandwich or setting the table.
Buccofacial or orofacial apraxia: This affects the ability to coordinate and execute movements of the face, lips, tongue, and jaw, such as blowing a kiss, whistling, or sticking out the tongue.
The symptoms of apraxia can vary widely depending on the underlying cause and type of apraxia. Treatment may include occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and rehabilitation to help improve movement planning and execution.
The treatment for apraxia depends on the underlying cause, the severity of the symptoms, and the specific type of apraxia. Some of the treatment options that may be recommended for individuals with apraxia include:
Occupational therapy: Occupational therapy can help improve daily living skills by focusing on fine motor movements, such as grasping and manipulating objects.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy can help improve mobility and coordination by focusing on gross motor movements, such as walking and standing.
Speech therapy: Speech therapy can help improve communication skills by focusing on the ability to form sounds, words, and sentences.
Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC): For individuals who have severe speech impairment, AAC devices can help improve communication by providing an alternative way to express themselves, such as using pictures, symbols, or electronic devices.