Aphasia Speech Impairment


Impairment means that there is a change in the way a certain body part works that isdifferent from usual. Speech impairment means it is difficult to use the bodyparts and muscles that make the motions or sounds needed for speech.

Language impairment is different from speech impairment. It is caused by damageto the brain that makes it difficult or even impossible to use or understandwords.

What is the information for this topic?

Speech impairments vary widely in their cause, effect, and treatment.

How does this impairment occur?

Some babies are born with physical conditions, such as cleftlip and cleft palate, that make it difficult or impossible to learnto speak. Cleft lip is an incomplete joining of the upper lip. Cleft palate isan abnormal passageway through the roof of the mouth into the airway of thenose. Because these problems are present at birth, they are called congenital.

Following are some other causes of speech impairment:

  • braintumor
  • congenital disorders, such as Down syndrome, which also causescommunication\ \education, including reading, writing, and basic math\ \motor function\ \personal care, such as bathing, dressing, eating, and toileting\ \social skills\ \thinking skills, such as decision making, problem solving, and self-direction\ \working\mental retardation
  • emotional or psychological problems, such as selective mutism
  • injuries to the brain, such as head injury
  • injury to the muscles needed for speech
  • medication side effects
  • muscle weaknessor paralysis, which may occur in degenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative nerve disorder
  • profound deafness, or other hearing impairments
  • stroke
  • surgical removal of the tongue or voice box, known as laryngectomy
  • throatcancer or tongue cancer
  • Are there ways to lessen a speech impairment?

    Some congenital disorders, such as cleft palate or lip, can berepaired with surgery. With other problems, a speechtherapist can help during rehabilitation supervised by a doctor.People who have lost their speech because of a stroke can often regain some or all of their speaking abilityby working with a speech therapist.

    Some children and adults can learn American Sign Language, or ASL. ASL is mostlyused by people who are deaf or severely hearing impaired, but many people canbenefit from learning it. People who have lost the ability to speak because ofsurgery can sometimes use an electronic device that produces sounds imitatingthe human voice. Known as augmentative communication, these devices includetypewriters, speechcomputers, or special boards with pictures or words.

    How do people with this impairment function?

    People who are born with a speech impairment and learn ASL at an early age canfunction well. They may stay within a circle of friends and family who are atease with them.

    People who lose the ability to speak due to illness or injury may feelfrustrated and impatient when trying to communicate. Some people can regaintheir speech or learn to speak well enough to get their meaning across.

    It’s important to treat a person with a speech impairment normally. Peopleshould take their time and be patient when trying to communicate with such aperson. Difficulty with speech doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence.If understanding is difficult, it may be useful to ask the person to write aword or phrase.

    Article type: xmedgeneral