Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

pp 2091-2091

Oral-Motor Apraxia

  • Allison BeanAffiliated withSpeech and Hearing Science, The Ohio State University Email author 


Nonverbal oral apraxia


Oral-motor apraxia is the inability to volitionally sequence oral movements of the speech structure for nonspeech tasks in the absence of neuromuscular deficits such as paralysis or muscle weakness (Zemlin, 1998). Patients with oral-motor apraxia demonstrate off-target effortful groping for correct movements involving the speech structure (e.g., clicking the tongue, licking the lips, whistling), or inconsistent trial-and-error attempts. Spontaneous and reflexive movements, such as swallowing while eating and smiling at a joke, are not affected (Freed, 2000). Oral-motor apraxia often occurs in conjunction with apraxia of speech, although there is not a one-to-one correspondence. Either apraxia may exist in the absence of the other (Duffy, 1995).

See Also


Developmental Apraxia


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