Essay on Dysarthria and Aphasia

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Dysarthria and Aphasia

Definition

Dysarthrias or commonly known as Dysarthria, refers to a group of speech problems where sounds may be slurred, and speech may be slow or effortful. Noticeable changes in pitch, volume, and tempo of speech occur. Speech can become nasal, and the voice can sound either breathy or harsh. Dysarthria occurs in both children and adults. Yorkston, Strand, Miller, Hillel, and Smith (1993) found reduction in speaking rate to be the strongest predictor of decrease in speech intelligibility.

Etiology

Dysarthria is related to neuromuscular diseases such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's, Lou Gehrig's disease, or later stages of multiple sclerosis. It can also
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Treatment may involve teaching a person ways to compensate for restrictions in muscle movement by techniques such as talking in short sentences or emphasizing key sounds in words. Changes in positioning of the body also may increase clearness. For some people, speech is not a viable option. Substitutes or augmentative systems are frequently used.As speech intelligibility begins to decline, intervention focuses on maintaining functional communication versus attempting to reduce speech impairment (Yorkston, Miller, & Strand, 1995). Direct speech intervention is not recommended for a number of reasons. First, exercise to fatigue may hasten neurological deterioration. Speech drills may be so tiring that speech adequacy for functional use in other settings would be compromised. Finally, speech exercises emphasizing optimum performance can only prove to be a discouraging reminder of increasing loss of ability.

Therapy for dysarthria focuses on maximizing the function of all systems. Compensatory strategies are often used. Individuals with dysarthria may be advised to take frequent pauses for breath, to over-articulate, or to pause before important words to make them stand out. If there is muscle weakness, they may benefit from performing oro-facial exercises. This helps to strengthen the muscles

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