Rare Speech Disorder May Affect Two-Thirds of Kids With Autism

Apraxia, which is characterized by difficulty in coordinating the tongue, lips and mouth to make speech, appears to be common in autism.

New research suggests that an otherwise rare speech disorder may affect nearly two-thirds of kids with autism, a finding that’s prompting calls for greater screening.

The condition called apraxia is estimated to affect just one or two out of every 1,000 children, but a study finds that 64% of children with autism may also have the speech disorder.

Researchers looked at a group of 30 kids ages 15 months to 5 years who were referred for evaluations due to concerns about speech, language or autism. Of the children initially diagnosed with autism, nearly 2 out of 3 also had apraxia, the study found. Meanwhile, among those first flagged with apraxia, 36.8% were also found to have autism.

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