What is the relationship between oral and verbal dyspraxia?

Verbal dyspraxia refers to difficulty in making and co-ordinating the precise articulatory movements required in the production of clear speech, whereas oral dyspraxia refers to difficulties in making and co-ordinating movements of the vocal tract (larynx, lips, tongue, palate) in the absence of speech. Oral dyspraxia might affect a child’s ability to protrude his tongue on request or to round his lips when copying an adult model. It may affect individual movements or sequences of movements eg moving your tongue quickly from side to side. Although it may seem logical that a child with verbal dyspraxia will also have oral dyspraxia, research and clinical experience suggest otherwise. Some children with verbal dyspraxia do also have oral dyspraxia, but others do not and may in some cases have surprisingly well-controlled oral movements when speech is not involved. Most professionals now distinguish between oral and verbal dyspraxia, but occasionally they are used interchangeably which can be confusing. ...read more

Where can I obtain a second opinion on my child’s speech?

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists holds a register of private practitioners. Independent practitioners list their specialisms. You can visit their website at : www.rcslt.org.uk The Nuffield Speech Clinics held at the Nuffield Hearing and Speech Centre at RNTNE Hospital offer a 2nd opinion NHS service for children with severe speech disorders/verbal dyspraxia , who meet the relevant referral criteria. For further information, see the details at the end of the downloadable fact sheet on developmental verbal dyspraxia on this site. ...read more

Who can diagnose verbal dyspraxia?

Speech and language therapists are the appropriate professionals to assess a child’s speech and language skills and to diagnose verbal dyspraxia, where appropriate. If a child has a complex profile involving a range of difficulties (eg affecting learning, behaviour, motor skills and speech and language), a speech and language therapist will be one of a team of professionals involved in the assessment process. ...read more

What is the relationship between oral dyspraxia, verbal dyspraxia and generalised dyspraxia?

In any individual child it is possible for these conditions to occur in isolation or in combinations. However, when they do co-occur, they do not necessarily do so to equal severity. In addition, although there may be co-occurring motor and/or speech features, they may not necessarily be dypraxia. For example, some children with generalised dyspraxia have immature or delayed speech development. However, their motor co-ordination difficulties stand out as their main area of difficulty and their speech difficulties would not match the profile expected in verbal dyspraxia. For other children, their main area of difficulty is with speech production, rendering their speech unintelligible, but they may also have some minor motor co-ordination difficulties. ...read more