The highway of life is riddled with trials, tribulations, and setbacks. While we do our best to avoid the potholes and roadblocks of adversity, accidents, and disease, the road is not always paved in safety.
Enduring physical hardships as an adult are usually out of our control. However, having the right support system and team to guide you on your journey back to health can guide and accelerate the recovery process. Whether you or a loved one has suffered from an illness, accident, or trauma, adult speech therapy can help. In this article we will explore 4 disorders that can benefit from adult speech therapy.
Apraxia is a motor speech disorder caused by damage to the brain related to speaking. Acquired apraxia often occurs in adults and involves loss and impairment of speaking abilities. Life traumatizing events such as stroke, head injury, or neurological disorders can cause damage to the nervous system. Symptoms include distorted sounds, inconsistent speech patterns, and irregular processing of tone or speech rhythm. It’s important to have a medical doctor and a certified speech pathologist diagnose the illness and create a treatment plan.
Another motor speech disorder, dysarthria is characterized by oral motor weakness after a stroke or injury to the brain. Because there has been severe damage to the brain, Dysarthria affects the muscles we use to speak. While these muscles are affected, it creates considerable difficulty for oration and communication. Diagnosis of this illness is evaluated based on the movement of mouth, lips, and tongue. Breathing patterns are also assessed. Symptoms include speaking slowly or talking too fast, inability to move tongue and lips, robotic speech patterns, and slurred or mumbled speech.
Aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to the parts of the brain that contain language. People suffering from aphasia have trouble communicating as well as writing and understanding language. Stroke or head injury are the two most common forms of developing aphasia. Severity can depend on a number of things and can extend past just brain damage. Symptoms include speaking in short or incomplete sentences, using unrecognizable words, having trouble finding words, and cognitive comprehension and understanding of reading.
Dysphagia affects the ability to swallow. Trouble swallowing or eating foods and drinking are often barriers. Often choking or regurgitation or common symptoms of dysphagia. Dysphagia affects the throat, esophagus, and stomach. Other symptoms include pain while swallowing, inability to swallow, drooling, coughing, gagging, and hoarseness.
While traumatic injuries as an adult are debilitating and tragic, many can be treated through the use of adult speech and cognitive therapy. Depending on the severity of the illness it is possible to retrain the brain and increase longevity no matter the stage in life. Speak with a certified speech pathologist today.