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Global Apraxia or Dyspraxia?

This comment was posted a while back, by Nanna.
I am a grandmother whose 2nd grandchild has(probably) verbal apraxia. He is 2 1/2 and the
therapist said he was too young to diagnose. He also has mouth issues. He loves to put bark (from flower beds) in his mouth. He is a joy in my life and loves animals and the outdoors. I am trying to learn all I can about the condition. He is in speech and OT therapy. What is global apraxia?

This is from Apraxia-Kids Ask the Therapist FAQ:
“Q. What are “limb apraxia” and “global apraxia”?

A. “Oral apraxia” and “verbal apraxia” are terms which describe a difficulty coordinating mouth and speech movements, “limb apraxia” would refer to motor planning deficits relating to arms, legs, fingers, etc. and “global apraxia” would be all of the above. The globally apraxic child would very likely be a mild cerebral palsy or “sub-clinical” cerebral palsy.”

From what I am gathering, the term “global apraxia” is being used interchangeably by families to describe children who very well may have DYSpraxia. I somehow doubt all children who are said to have global apraxia have mild cerebral palsy. I wish that doctors and therapists could get their definitions together. It would certainly help all of us parents!



  1. Carriegene says

    My son has Global Apraxia. He does NOT have CP! He also does NOT have autism. May poepl in the medical field dont even know what global apraxia is. My son has had an MRI with no adnormalities. If a child has CP it will show up on an MRI. We also had hs DNA tested and that was normal too. I do believe that he has Global Apraxia due to birth complications, Howvere, I can not prove that yet. I wish more was done for Global Apraxia. In our Support group more kids have the Global than just verbal apraxia. Many are also the first born and most are boys. I would love to see more research done on this neurological disorder.

  2. says


    Apraxia can be seen in children who have been diagnosed with other disorders such as mild CP and autism.

    Apraxia does not equall mild CP or Autism… It is a separate diagnosis…

    There are different types of apraxia as you have written about in your blog…

    Speech apraxia deals with difficulty coordinating and sequencing muscle movements when demands are placed on the muscles… So there should not be evidence of weakness in the muscles…

    Think about driving a stickshift… You have to coordinate the clutch with the engine and the gearshift otherwise your car will either stall or "rev" your engine…

    Sorry I can't think of a better word than "rev" at this time…

    Speech apraxia can be improved through repetition and drilling… The more the syllable movements are practiced… the easier they child can make them due to muscle memory…

    It's like riding a bike… Once you figure out how to ride a bike you can't really forget it but you might need a warm up run before you do it if you haven't done it in awhile…

  3. Michelle says

    my son, whom is now nearly 19 has Global Apraxia. Originally diagnosed with C.P. also, after his muscles never became spastic the doctor was bewildered. He has low muscle tone since birth, difficulties with gross, fine, ocular, speech, everything. He has come a very long way now and I'm so very proud of him! He was also my first born, with birth complications.

    • Dawn says

      Hi Michelle: Thanks for the visit! I have heard that birth complications can cause CP, but then again if it can cause that then I'm sure it can cause other things too. I hope that you were able to get him as many services and therapies as possible to build his strength and coordination up. My son still has some dyspraxia issues but nothing that requires therapy any more (he's 12). Karate has helped tremendously with strength and coordination, as well as attention (bonus! hehe) We just do what we have to for our kids, right?