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Apraxia is a Neurological Disorder Affecting Movement, Communication


Updated June 12, 2014

Students and teacher in the school library
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Definition: Apraxia is a neurological disorder affecting the ability to control fine and gross motor movement and gestures. The disorder can also affect communication skills. Apraxia can range from mild to severe. People with apraxia often cannot perform controlled, purposeful movement, despite having the physical strength and intellectual thought and desire to do so. Apraxia is believed to stem from disorders in the parietal lobes of the brain.

In the classroom, students with apraxia have unique needs. While they generally receive information well and understand instruction, they cannot effectively demonstrate what they have learned. This leads to a great deal of frustration for students.

Because apraxia affects each person differently, educators and parents should strive to find alternative ways for students to participate meaningfully in the classroom. Occupational, physical, and speech therapists working with students can provide valuable information on how to adapt instruction and classroom materials to enable students to participate and to lower their frustration levels. Some students can be assisted through adaptive technology.

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Also Known As: dyspraxia, verbal dyspraxia, communication disorder

People with apraxia can benefit from comprehensive therapies to address their unique needs.

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