Treatment of Cerebral Palsy: Speech and Language Therapy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy aims to enable clients to make maximum use of their communication skills in expressing their ideas and understanding those expressed by others. Speech and language therapists assess and work with people of all ages who have difficulties with: their speech, understanding spoken and/or written language, using language and eating and drinking problems and feeding problems in babies and children

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Speech and language therapists normally work in clinics, health centers, schools and hospitals as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  Where a client (adult or child) is experiencing severe difficulty in expressing themselves, a speech and language therapist may introduce a communication aid that can either augment or replace speech.

Speech problems associated with cerebral palsy are associated with poor respiratory control as a result of muscular weakness, laryngeal and soft palate dysfunction, and articulation disorders that result from imprecise movement of the oral-facial structures. The incidence of dysarthria (Difficulty in articulating words due to emotional stress or to paralysis, incoordination, or spasticity of the muscles used in speaking.) varies in relation to the type and degree of motor impairment. Other communication disorders (e.g., hearing loss, language delay or disorder) may also be associated with cerebral palsy.

Speech and language therapists may also be involved very early on if a child has feeding, drinking or swallowing problems. If speech is difficult, or if there are any other problems with language, the speech and language therapist will work towards implementing programs to address the specific difficulty.

Some children with cerebral palsy have delayed language because they may be unable to play and explore like non-disabled children. The inability to be understood can influence the child's intellectual development, especially if parents don't take the extra time needed to understand their child's attempts at speech. Speech and language therapists will work with teachers, occupational therapists and parents to encourage suitable learning activities.

Speech and language therapists may also provide communication devices, which help a child who is having major problems with language or speech. The use of sign language, symbol speech or a communication aid will often lessen the frustration that an individual experiences at not being able to communicate their wishes and desires.

Children may benefit from picture boards or other communication devices that allow them to point to make their desires known. For school-age children or older persons with CP, there are a large number of augmentative communication devices, including shorthand typing programs and computer-assisted speech devices. A speech-language therapist can offer valuable advice on the types of equipment available.

Parents often have misconceptions about augmentative communication (e.g., Oral speech and language skills will no longer be a part of the therapy program. Communication ''aids'' or devices will supplant existing oral communication skills. Parents fear that machines will make the user ''lazy'', and that s/he will rely totally on the machine to communicate.). Because of the misconceptions, parents may be reluctant to agree to having their child learn additional forms of communication. To reduce some of these myths, think about parallels between augmentative communication used by typical communicators and individuals with communication disorders: many people use taped voice messages to relay information (e.g., answer phones); that business men and women use templates for written messages that are frequently sent; and that drivers relay on road signs with picture symbols to convey meanings. Augmentative communication devices can have taped voice messages to convey information (e.g., ''Hello. How are you today?''); that a template with course-specific vocabulary (e.g., science: beaker, burner, observation) can be developed and used to complete class and homework assignments; and that picture symbols can be used to convey a single-word or complete-sentence (e.g., a black & white picture of a burner means to place the beaker on the burner and heat the substance).

Augmentative Communication Devices:

Augmentative communication devices are methods that help individuals communicate more easily and effectively. These devices can range from a board with pictures representing a student’s daily needs to electronic speech synthesizers. This technology can help a child with disabilities feel more independent and take part in activities with other children.

Manual communication boards are an inexpensive and practical mode by which an individual can communicate. The term “manual” refers to the fact that the system does not involve any mechanical parts. An object i.e. toothbrush, a photograph, a symbol, and/or printed words can represent the user’s message. For example, Boardmaker is a program that can be used to create a communication board. Using Boardmaker, communication boards can be personalized to coincide with the child’s daily routine.

BIGmack:  The BIGmack is a lightweight, easily transportable device that allows a message or a series of messages to be prerecorded. When the child touches the device the message is played back. When the prerecorded message corresponds to the classroom activities, the child is able to participate.

Dynavox:  The Dynavox is an augmentative communication device that assists the user in output communication. To create a message, the child selects a menu with a specific category by touching the screen. The categories on the screen are similar to folders on a computer. When you open a folder, or category, subcategories are listed. Categories for a 10-year-old-boy might be school, home, and sports. The category “school” might be broken down into school subjects, school routine, people at school, etc. Those subcategories are broken down even further. The neat thing about the Dynavox is that the categories can be personalized to correspond with the child’s life and every day activities. For children who are learning how to communicate using the Dynavox, categories can be broken down into broad categories. Some children with cerebral palsy may not able to use their hands well enough to use a device such as this to talk. Therefore a switch may be hooked up to the machine with which they can use their hands, feet, head, or chin to push. If child has a visual disability, they can activate the device with a switch when the desired word or phrase is heard.

Delta Talker: Like the Dynavox, initial or more advanced communicators can use the Delta Talker. This device resembles a computer keyboard, but instead of writing words and sentences, different pictures and words are put together to make a sentence. The Delta Talker has picture and word keys in addition to the letters of the alphabet that allow it to produce over 4,000 sounds, words, and phrases. For children that are not able to target a specific area, a switch can be hooked up to the Delta Talker. Even with the assistance of a switch, this device is more complicated than the Dynavox.

Augmentative Communication Devices are making enormous strides, as computer technology allows more powerful and easier to use designs. It is gratifying that everyone can reap the rewards of technology.


For More Information visit the following web sites: 

http://www.admin.state.mn.us/assistivetechnology/matln_website/resources.html

Boardmaker: http://www.mayer-johnson.com/main/index.html

BIGmac:  http://www.ablenetinc.com

Dynavox:  http://www.dynavoxsys.com/

Delta Talker:  http://www.prentrom.com

Below is a link to the story of a young women who was able to overcome her communication difficulties with the help on an augmentative communication device.

http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/aac-growing-up-with-aac.htm

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Treatment of Cerebral Palsy: Counseling, Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy,
Physical Therapy, Pharmeceuticals, Play Therapy, Speech Therapy and Surgery.