For many Californians struggling with motor speech disorders, each day is a unique challenge. Unlike other motor speech disorders, apraxia of speech occurs when the mouth and the brain cannot communicate with each other properly. Although the mouth muscles are capable of producing the correct sounds, the brain is unable to make all of those muscles work together to produce the right words.
Apraxia of speech does not occur in healthy brains; it results when there is damage to the area of the brain responsible for coordinating muscle movement. This damage can arise through numerous types of brain injury including traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumors and other neurological diseases. Regardless of what causes an individual case of apraxia, most treatment options require patients to work with speech-language pathologists to improve their muscle coordination. In severe cases of apraxia, patients may require the use of assisted speech devices.
For people with apraxia of speech, the symptoms can vary widely. Some individuals must force their tongues and mouths into uncomfortable positions in order to produce sound. Others are unable to articulate words correctly, and some people may not be able to produce sound at all. These challenges can create a host of stressors for patients struggling to function in social and professional settings.
For individuals who experience apraxia of speech due to traumatic brain injury or medical malpractice, it may be possible to recover damages for medical expenses, speech-language rehabilitation and compensation for pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can offer specific advice on how to seek compensation for damages associated with apraxia of speech.