Is Dyspraxia of the Body and Speech Dyspraxia the same thing?


The overall term of Dyspraxia refers to a neurological (brain) disorder in which messages from the brain to the muscles are disrupted. The muscle themselves have no problems. It is that the messages that plan the motor movements are not functioning optimally. This is why dyspraxia is considered a motor planning disorder.

​Hence dyspraxia of the body and speech dyspraxia have the same underlying concern but it is affecting different areas of the child.

Dyspraxia can impact on the motor planning of oral movements of the tongues and lips (oral dyspraxia) and/or movements needed to achieve speech (Verbal Dyspraxia). One of these areas may be affected or all areas can be affected. Body dyspraxia can impact on a child’s ability to write, dress, eat and carry out play activities or sports. Any activity that requires conscious planning of a body movement.


​Acquired Dyspraxia vs Developmental Dyspraxia in Children.

Children can “acquire” dyspraxia as a result of brain damage from accidents, illness and childhood strokes. Yet for some children, there is no known cause of the disordered neurological messages. Dyspraxia may develop in young children when they have had no brain injury or other cause. This is why it is called Developmental Dyspraxia. It only becomes obvious they have dyspraxia once they find learning many of the everyday activities difficult as they develop.

Oral Dyspraxia vs Verbal Dyspraxia

Children with oral dyspraxia generally have no problems actually moving their tongues and lips having a good range of automatic oral movements. They can lick an ice-block when they are not thinking about it. However, the same child can find it extremely hard to poke out their tongue if asked to!

​Verbal dyspraxia refers speech difficulties where the child cannot voluntarily coordinate their muscles to produce the right speech sounds or words. When children do not have any know brain injuries or medical concerns it is generally referred to as Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia DVD). It is also known as Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) or sometimes simply Speech Dyspraxia. It is an example of a speech disorder.

​When a child presents as a late talker or their speech development is not as would be expected for age, a speech therapist will check for symptoms of developmental verbal dyspraxia.

​Can Dyspraxia by treated?

Occupational therapists frequently work with children with body dyspraxia to assist them with motor planning issues related to writing and daily activities.

​Speech Therapists with experience with working with verbal dyspraxia can assist children with this specific speech disorder. If you have concerns a child may have verbal dyspraxia or has a diagnosis of Developmental verbal dyspraxia contact SpeechNet Speech Pathology to ask about our services.

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Sandra McMahon

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