Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 482-486

Developmental Apraxia

  • Michelle A. ProsjeAffiliated withClinical Psychology, Georgia School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University


Developmental coordination disorder; Developmental disorder of motor function; Developmental dyspraxia; Mixed specific developmental disorders


The term apraxia means without action/doing, from the Greek root “praxis.” Apraxia is technically the complete inability to perform learned purposeful movements and is unrelated to impaired motor strength, coordination, comprehension, or sensation [6, 11, 12]. The term is often used interchangeably with dyspraxia, which is technically the partial inability to perform learned purposeful movements. Liepmann portrayed apraxia as a disconnection between the idea of movement and its motor execution. Various types of apraxia in adults have been delineated, with the major subtypes of ideational, ideomotor apraxia, and limb-kinetic apraxia [6, 12]. In pediatric populations, ideomotor apraxia and developmental apraxia of speech are considered the main subtypes. Developmental apraxia of speech has gained considerable att ...

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