Most experts look for the manifestation of a combination of common apraxia symptoms in order to detect the condition, reports WebMD. Standardized language and intellectual tests can also help detect apraxia of speech, according to MedlinePlus.
Apraxia is a neurological condition that can take many forms and is not fully understood by medical science, states WebMD. People with apraxia find it difficult or impossible to perform certain muscular movements, particularly in regard to speech. While able to understand words and language structure, people with apraxia have difficulty initiating and executing the sequences of muscular movement that speaking requires, although the muscles involved are fully functional.
Apraxia can often be confused with a condition called aphasia, a communication disorder whereby a person has difficulty understanding and using words, explains WebMD. In addition to manifesting similar symptoms, these two conditions sometimes occur together, making it difficult for a doctor to diagnose apraxia.
Symptoms of speech apraxia include difficulty combining syllables in the correct order to produce words, difficulty pronouncing long or complex words and repeated attempts to pronounce words correctly, according to WebMD. People with apraxia often can pronounce a word correctly on some occasions but not at other times, use gestures or other forms of nonverbal communication excessively and frequently seem to struggle when speaking.