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Differences of Apraxia and Phonology

Apraxia and Phonology – What’s the Difference?

Now that we’ve seen the similarities between apraxia and phonological speech disorders, let’s take a look at the differences that will help us decipher them!


  • Caused by motor speech and processing difficulty (the child knows what they want to say, but cannot express it)
  • Intact oral motor strength and ability
  • Vowel and consonant sounds are distorted and limited
  • Cannot directly imitate oral motor movements, sounds, words
  • Speech mistakes are not repetitive/consistent
  • Potential mildly or moderately affected coordination ability of the articulators or body movements
  • Oral motor groping present


  • Articulation errors follow a pattern
  • Errors can be categorized into various phonetic disorders, such as: fronting, backing, final sound deletion, assimilation, etc.
  • Child can produce longer sentences
  • Child has a variety of vowel and consonant sounds in their repertoire
  • Can imitate oral motor movements, sounds, words
  • Speech mistakes are repetitive and form a pattern
  • Possible history of ear infections
  • No oral motor groping present
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