Verbal dyspraxia deals with difficulty in articulating muscles to produce clear speech, while oral dyspraxia refers to a more generalized inability to perform certain tasks with the vocal tract, according to the Dyspraxia Foundation. People with oral dyspraxia may have trouble performing basic tasks, such as sticking out their tongue or shaping their lips, even when they are not speaking. Parts of the body that oral dyspraxia can affect include the tongue, lips, larynx and palate.
Despite these differences, some physicians and health care professionals might use the two terms interchangeably, explains the Dyspraxia Foundation. The two conditions occur sometimes simultaneously, but some people with verbal dyspraxia have a strong ability to coordinate their oral movements when they are not speaking.
Generalized dyspraxia can also affect a person's speech, reports the Dyspraxia Foundation. Some children with generalized dyspraxia may present with delayed or immature speech, although this doesn't necessitate a diagnosis of oral or verbal dyspraxia, and children might have differing levels of motor and speech impairment. Furthermore, motor difficulties aside from dyspraxia can manifest as speech difficulties that might resemble verbal or oral dyspraxia. Various forms of dyspraxia also overlap with dyslexia, with 52 percent of children with dyslexia showing at least some signs of dyspraxia in one study.