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Difference between apraxia and dyspraxia?

Apraxia vs Dyspraxia?

The words apraxia and dyspraxia are both medical conditions affecting the nervous system of the body leading to difficulties in movements.

What is apraxia and dyspraxia
Apraxia is the inability to execute purposeful movements which have already been learnt by the person. Apraxia is the lack of performance of the task despite having the desire and the capability to bring about the movement. Apraxia is an acquired disorder of motor execution due to inability to understand commands. Dyspraxia is also rightly called as a developmental coordination disorder. It is a developmental chronic neurological disorder occurring in children as well as adults in which person has trouble planning and completing fine and gross motor activities. The main difference is that in apraxia the ability is present but cannot perform functions whereas in dyspraxia the ability itself is lost.

Difference in presentations
There are various types of dyspraxia. Ideomotor dyspraxia is a variant in which there is difficulty completing single tasks like waving good bye etc. Ideational dyspraxia is another kind in which there is difficulty in performing multistep tasks like brushing teeth, buttoning clothes etc. In oromotor dyspraxia, there is lack of coordination of muscle movements in order to have correct pronunciation. Lastly, constructional dyspraxia leads to difficulty in following step by step instructions and long series of instructions like cooking which involves series of steps one after the other. Often children affected by dyspraxia might appear as if they are plain lazy and avoid movements for example, instead of moving the head, they might roll their eyes in order to get a view of something, might have difficulty in running and jumping etc. In view of all these symptoms, it has also been named as Clumsy child syndrome as the patients tend to restrict their movements due to the difficulty faced in movement.
Types of apraxia are ideomotor apraxia, conceptual apraxia, speech apraxia and constructional apraxia. People suffering from Ideomotor apraxia show inability to plan or complete motor actions. Conceptual apraxia is all about not having the ability to think over the steps required to perform some action. The people affected with this type jumble up things and do last things first and first things last. Example of this type of apraxia is that a person puts vegetables in the pot first and then the oil needed for cooking. Speech apraxia is seen in adults and children. It is typically seen in persons who previously had the speaking ability. It involves loss of already acquired speech levels. It usually involves articulatory errors.

Difference in treatment
Both the disorders are incurable and tend to persist lifelong. There is scope for improvement with rigorous employment of speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy for apraxia as well as dyspraxia. Improvement is often seen in dyspraxic children who are started early on simple physical exercises to build coordination. Simple tasks when done confidently can be compiled and slowly, the dyspraxic child can be taught to do multiple tasks such that the child will be independent. Parents need to be counseled in these cases especially in dyspraxia, as lack of locomotion and movement can be very disappointing.

Summary:
Dyspraxia is the lack of coordinated purposeful movements despite having the desire to and is a developmental disorder. Apraxia is an acquired disorder developing in later age where ability of execution of already learnt skills is lost despite having the desire and strength to carry them out. Both are incurable neurological conditions, that need intensive speech and physical therapy to bring about independence in the person’s life.


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