Symptoms of apraxia of speech include not being able to move the mouth or tongue to talk, says WebMD. In adults, this condition is called acquired apraxia, in which the person finds it extremely hard, even impossible, to speak despite having normal muscles. In children, the condition is called developmental apraxia, in which the child has difficulty forming sounds and words. Characteristics of developmental apraxia range from delayed first words to limited articulation of vowels and consonants, notes Mayo Clinic.
In acquired apraxia, the person experiences severe challenges, or a complete inability, when forming words by linking syllables together, explains WebMD. Likewise, long or complicated words are difficult to pronounce. A person with apraxia of speech strives repeatedly at pronunciation and is inconsistent verbally. Annunciation is a problem, as is relying too much on nonverbal communication. There is typically a distortion of vowels and omission of consonants.
In developmental apraxia, also called childhood apraxia, an infant has limited babbling capacity, according to WebMD. The condition is in effect at birth and generally manifests through minimal spoken vocabulary between 18 months and two years, explains Mayo Clinic. As the child develops, other signs of childhood apraxia of speech include distortions of vowels and consonants; stressed attempts to position the jaws, lips and tongue properly to make words; moving clumsily between sounds; and not being able to imitate basic words.