Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (DCD), motor learning difficulties, perceptual-motor dysfunction, dyspraxia, apraxia of speech, lamb-kinetic apraxia, ideomotor apraxia, conceptual apraxia, ideational apraxia, buccofacial apraxia, facial-oral apraxia, constructional apraxia, oculomotor apraxia, verbal apraxia, speech developmental apraxia, aphasia

What is apraxia?

Apraxia is a neurological condition which causes the inability to perform familiar movements, even though the command is understood and the person wants to perform the movement.

Someone with apraxia has both the desire and the capacity to make the movement, but is unable to execute the act.

What causes apraxia?

Apraxia occurs when certain parts of the brain (within the cerebral hemispheres) stop working as they should.

This is believed to be due to a lesion in the neural pathways of the brain that store memories of the learned patterns of movement.

It is often a symptom of a brain injury or a disease or condition that affects the brain, such as:

Apraxia can also be caused by other neurological and metabolic conditions.

What are the symptoms of apraxia?

People with apraxia may struggle to use tools and carry out routine tasks such as tying shoelaces or buttoning shirts.

This can make day-to-day living more difficult, and those with significant apraxia may need support from carers.

Apraxia comes in many different forms, including:

  • Lamb-kinetic apraxia – the inability to make precise movements with a finger, arm or leg, even though the person understands the movement and has made it in the past. An example is the inability to use a screwdriver.
  • Ideomotor apraxia – the inability to carry out a command to mimic movements made or suggested by others.
  • Conceptual apraxia – is similar to ideomotor ataxia, but means people are also unable to carry out multi-step actions.
  • Ideational apraxia – the inability to plan for a specific movement or follow a sequence, such as getting dressed.
  • Buccofacial apraxia (sometimes called facial-oral apraxia) – the inability to carry out facial and lip movements on command, such as whistling, winking or coughing.
  • Constructional apraxia – this affects the person’s ability to draw or copy simple diagrams.
  • Oculomotor apraxia – this is where the person affected finds it difficult to move their eyes.
  • Verbal apraxia – (also known as speech developmental apraxia or apraxia of speech) – this is where someone struggles with making the mouth movements, sounds and rhythms speech requires, and is similar to aphasia.

Are you affected by apraxia?

If you’re affected by apraxia, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with apraxia, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with apraxia from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

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Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with apraxia

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with apraxia? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including apraxia, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on apraxia and on many other related neurological conditions

Support groups

Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up an apraxia support group, or do you already run one? Email activities@thebraincharity.org.uk to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.