Communication Disorders Getting Real

Motor Speech Disorders

Motor speech disorders are a result of problem with the components of the respiratory system, larynx, pharynx, and oral cavity. The two types of disorders are classified as dysarthrias and apraxias. Dysarthria describes motor speech disorders caused by problems with neuromuscular control of speech due to the central or peripheral nervous system. A person with dysarthria almost always has full awareness and comprehension of written, spoken and read language, but cannot respond correctly with communication to such communication.

How can we help students who suffer from dysarthria?

Because the students can understand what they read or hear from texts or others, the goal is to put into place mechanisms that promote positive communication. There are a few different items that can be used such as communication boards and computer-based speech systems. Other mechanisms involve a bit more investment such as palatal lift. Still, a helpful thing for teachers to do is to control and articulate words very carefully. In addition controlling speech rate and emphasizing intonation and appropriate phrasing can also promote a positive learning experience.

Submitted by: Hillary Mason

Melfi, R., Communication Disorders. 6 December, 2006. eMedicine.