top of page

Everything Changes When We Learn About Apraxia & Dyspraxia


When we aren’t taught about apraxia or dyspraxia, and we see a student not responding to a simple request, it is easy to jump to the most obvious conclusion that the student doesn’t understand. When in reality, apraxia/dyspraxia has nothing to do with cognition and everything to do with control over movements.

In 2015, a team of medical researchers at Penn State University conducted a study that showed 63.6% of children who originally received an autism diagnosis also have apraxia.

63.6%! That’s nearly 2/3!

“Can you imagine not being able to talk but still understand everything around you? I couldn’t get my mouth to say the words I wanted to say. My body moved in myriad ways to cope with this crazy hell. What this made me look like was an awful mixed-up child who didn’t love his parents or siblings. I always did, but back then, I couldn’t show it because my body failed mightily to do what I wanted it to do. How awful it was to not be able to show love and basic human intelligence.”

- Ian Aronow

Nonspeaking Autistic Student & Text-Based Communicator

Apraxia is a motor (meaning movement) disorder, often referred to in the context of speech production, although that is not the only type of apraxia.

The "A-" in apraxia means TOTAL or COMPLETE loss.

The "DYS-" in dyspraxia means PARTIAL loss.

"PRAXIA" means the execution of voluntary muscle movements.

Apraxia = total loss in execution of voluntary muscle movements

Dyspraxia = partial loss in execution of voluntary movements

Someone with apraxia/dyspraxia has trouble getting the messages from their brain to their muscles to make them move. It's important to understand that the individual's brain knows what it wants to say, but the messages get disconnected.

“It was the worlds biggest relief to finally let people know that I am not a dumb guy and that I am actually paying attention. I can listen even when I am loud or moving around. I got to finally say I love you to my mom. That was the best feeling because sometimes my rebel body would pinch her so hard and I felt horrible but I couldn’t tell her that I was sorry. It was life changing."

- Jake Reisman

Nonspeaking Autistic Student & Text-Based Communicator


Want to learn more about apraxia/dyspraxia and how to help your students gain more control to be able to communicate using text-based tools?

  • Learn from a wide variety of experts including our featured guests Dr. Liz Torres and Nonspeaker Trever Byrd.

  • Take a peek at the learning objectives in our module that dives deep into Apraxia.

We've got 15 modules all based on the foundation of understanding apraxia and dyspraxia.

Once we understand apraxia and dyspraxia, we change. And when we change, our students change too! The power of someone believing in you makes a huge impact.

Young man named Dillan Barmache, a nonspeaking autistic advocate with his quote: "Appearances, I suppose, really matter to people. Each day I shaped people's perceptions about me with my autism.  It took finding that person who could imagine me before really seeing me, to break through.  A person who believed in me and had so much confidence in me when I had none, was a person worth working as hard as I could for to push through the autism to relate back."



bottom of page