Difference Between Aphasia and Apraxia (With Table)

Both aphasia and apraxia are speech disorders. They interrupt a person to have clear communication. Both are results of a stroke. This is the reason why they are often hard to differentiate between. Common people can get confused with a similar term for two different communication difficulties. The differences can be seen if we look closely.

Aphasia vs Apraxia

The difference between aphasia and apraxia is that aphasia makes it difficult for the patient to comprehend the grammar, words, and sentences, whereas apraxia cause obstacles to the tongue to pronounce words as they are supposed to be pronounced. A person with aphasia can not get the meaning, and on the other hand, a person with apraxia can not get the utterance right.

Aphasia is a condition that affects a person’s linguistic knowledge and skills. The person is unable to understand words as they can not remember the terminology they had before. They forget to read and write as well. The meaning of the words does not reach them.

In apraxia, a person’s linguistic ability stays intact, but they become unable to produce the sound of the words. The movements that are required to talk do not function properly or at all. They are not unable to understand what other people are talking about.

Comparison Table Between Aphasia and Apraxia

Parameters of ComparisonAphasiaApraxia
Definition Aphasia is an impairment in which it is difficult to use or comprehend words. Apraxia is difficult to execute the correct tongue movements, which are necessary to produce speech.
Area of impairmentComprehending words are a barrier for people suffering from aphasia.Making the correct speech sound is not possible for people with apraxia.
Linguistic barrierSyntax level of linguistic is the barrier for people with aphasia issue.The phonetics level of linguistics is the area of difficulty for people with apraxia issues.
Hindrances in productionAphasia makes patients suffer to find the words to give their thoughts meaning.Apraxia makes patients unable to pronounce the right speech sound.
RestraintUnable to read and write words and sentences.Unable to use the right rhythm of the sentence.
Affecting area Aphasia affects different levels of language skills.Apraxia affects the motor that is responsible for producing speech.

What is Aphasia?

If the left hemisphere of the brain gets damaged, then aphasia, a communication disorder, might occur. It is not a birth problem. It happens to someone when that person suffers from a stroke. The gravity of aphasia relies on the fact that how much space of the brain has been affected. Also, the depth of the injury decided the severity of the situation.

In aphasia, one loses the ability to comprehend words and, therefore, sentences. One can not perform the linguistic ability anymore, which they acquired over the years.

This ailment can be treated, and linguistic ability can be restored with the right methods. Showing pictures of the words can make it easier to understand the words. Sometimes giving the patient hints to nudge them towards the word also helps. To understand the patient’s speech, his/her family members can take special training to communicate in an alternative way.

What is Apraxia?

Apraxia affects motor speech production. Here the affected patient can understand and think of the word but can not pronounce it. The reason is the part of their brain that is responsible for the movements to say those words gets weak or zero signals. As a result, the correct speech sound of the said word does not come. Apraxia has to types verbal apraxia or apraxia of speech and nonverbal oral apraxia.

This also has some specific therapy methods that the healthcare providers often suggest. Teaching the sound of words to the patient by repeating them over and over again might show some positive results. But this requires lots of practice. The rhythm of the words can be imposed on their mind by using the sound of finger-snapping.

There is also an alternative communicating system that does not have any connection with speaking. The patient can use pen and paper to express their thoughts. Also, modern technology has offered computer programs that can give voice to whatever is being written.

Main Differences Between Aphasia and Apraxia

  1. Aphasia is a communication disorder that makes it difficult to comprehend and use words. But apraxia is a problem that makes a person unable to execute the correct tongue movements that allow us to produce speech.
  2. Aphasia sufferers can not comprehend words, whereas apraxia sufferers are not able to produce the speech sound correctly.
  3. Aphasia causes a syntax barrier, while apraxia induces a phonetics barrier that does not let one make the needed speech sound.
  4. In the disorder aphasia, one is not competent to understand grammatical sentences, whereas, in apraxia disorder, the people can not enunciate the sound of the words properly.
  5. A person with aphasia is not capable of reading and writing words as he/she can not comprehend them, and on the other hand, a person with apraxia is not capable of pronouncing the words correctly.


Aphasia and apraxia are known to have the same reason. Someone who has been subjected to experience a stroke or brain injury on the left hemisphere of the brain will tend to have these communication disorders. A patient who suffered a stroke can have both aphasia and apraxia, but in some cases, aphasia without apraxia can also occur. Apraxia and non-fluent aphasia can be traced to be related. There are different types of apraxia as well as different kinds of aphasia.

Both the disorders have different ways of treatment. The speech errors and their affected areas are different. That is why the treatment can not have the same methods. So, even though the same reason might induce the disorders, they are very much different from each other.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s00429-014-0925-3.pdf
  2. https://academic.oup.com/brain/article-abstract/129/6/1385/296564
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