If you or your child has a neurological condition, it can affect the way they communicate.
These conditions can occur from birth, or as a result of a later brain injury or other traumatic event.
But regardless, speech therapy can help.
Here at Voz Speech Therapy, we offer speech therapy treatments for neurological conditions as one of our speech therapy specialties.
If you, or a loved one, are experiencing speech, language, or feeding and swallowing difficulties as a result of a neurological condition, we can help.
What Is A Neurological Disorder
It should come as no surprise that the brain is the most complex and least understood part of the human body. And as a neurological disorder is a disorder that affects your brain’s ability to function, it can have wide-ranging consequences.
There are hundreds of different neurological disorders, and not all of them will affect speech, language, or feeding skills. However, some of them do.
Neurological disorders include things like chronic back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, obviously neither of which should really affect your ability to communicate. However, others can severely impair it.
Below are some of the treatments we offer for speech, language, or feeding issues related to neurological disorders:
Speech Therapy For Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder. This means it’s a neurological disorder that tends to get worse over time. It affects your ability to coordinate your muscles.
Your body produces a substance called dopamine, created in the part of your brain called the substantia nigra. Dopamine is responsible for a number of different things, including muscle control.
With Parkinson’s disease, your substantia nigra begins to die, which reduces the amount of dopamine your brain can produce. Once your dopamine levels have dropped low enough, you’ll begin to see early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which include:
- Decreased sense of smell
- Handwriting issues
- Voice tremors
- Deteriorating posture
Later on, you may begin to see the more severe symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which include:
- Muscle tremors
- Slow and sluggish movements
- Stiffness in your arms, legs, or core
- Poor balance
- Increased risk of fall injuries
From a speech therapy perspective, symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:
- Muffled speech
- Quieter speech
- Dysphagia – difficulty swallowing
- A trembling voice
A speech therapist for adults cannot treat Parkinson’s disease on their own. However, we can help you continue to communicate clearly with the people around you.
In particular, we offer the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment protocol LSVT LOUD in order to provide speech therapy treatments for Parkinson’s disease. It’s considered the gold standard for modern Parkinson’s disease speech treatments. It can help you continue to communicate clearly and audibly for much longer than otherwise.
We can also offer the use of AAC – augmentative & alternative communication options where necessary as well.
If you or a loved one is struggling with Parkinson’s disease, a speech therapist for speech sound disorders and other speech issues can help them continue to communicate clearly. Book your appointment with us today to find out how.
Speech Therapy For Stroke Recovery
A stroke is a neurological event where the blood supply to your brain is either limited or blocked entirely. This prevents your brain from getting the oxygen it needs to survive.
If left untreated, a stroke is deadly, as your brain will begin to die within minutes of being oxygen deprived.
If you suspect you’re with somebody who is having a stroke, contact emergency services immediately. The signs of a stroke can be summed up with the acronym FAST:
- Face – is one side of their face drooping down?
- Arms – are they unable to raise one of their arms?
- Speech – does their speech feel slurred?
- Time – if so, it’s time to call 911 right away
It’s incredibly rare for children to experience a stroke. As a result, it generally falls under the purview of speech therapy for adults.
When recovering from a stroke, you may find that you have no speech or language difficulties at all. However, if you do have trouble in this area, it will likely fall under the following categories:
Aphasia affects your ability to speak as well as your ability to understand what others are saying.
Symptoms of aphasia include:
Reduced ability to form sentences
Substituting words that don’t make sense in context
Reduced ability to understand others
Reduced ability to write
Persistent repetition of words
Depending on how one’s individual condition manifests itself, somebody with aphasia may or may not be aware that others can understand them.
Speech therapy treatments for aphasia can help.
Dysarthria affects your ability to communicate as well, but it’s related to weakness in the muscles you used to speak, rather than the part of the brain that controls them.
That said, it can affect your speech in similar ways – it’s just the cause that’s different. Symptoms include:
Slow or monotone speech
Difficulty regulating speech volume
Nasal or raspy sounding voice
Difficulty regulating rate of speech
Speech therapy treatments for dysarthria can help.
Dyspraxia is similar to dysarthria in that it affects your speech muscles. But with dyspraxia, the muscles work okay but the coordination of these muscles is impaired.
It also tends to be more inconsistent – one day you may be able to say a word just fine, but you may struggle with it later. This is because it’s linked with parts of the brain connected with speech. Symptoms can include:
Struggling to say certain words
Being able to say words sometimes, and struggle in others
Monotone speech patterns
Speech therapy treatments for dyspraxia can help.
Is Speech & Language Recovery After Stroke Possible?
The amount of damage from a stroke depends on how quickly you were able to get medical treatment for it.
In more minor cases, speech therapy for stroke recovery can almost fully restore your speech, language, and feeding abilities. In severe cases, however, speech therapy can still help lessen a stroke’s effects.
If you or a loved one has experienced a stroke, a speech therapist can help. Book your appointment with us today to find out how.
Speech Therapy For Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery
A traumatic brain injury is just what it sounds like, an injury to your brain. Because injuries can vary so drastically, the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury related to speech, language, and feeding, can vary just as much.
You may experience a traumatic brain injury and not have any communication or feeding difficulties at all. However, you may also experience the following:
Difficulty understanding others
Difficulty forming sentences
Difficulty finding the words you need
Difficulty understanding nonverbal cues
Difficulty following conversational cues
Reduced reading comprehension
Choking when you eat
A speech therapist can help.
Depending on the nature of your injury and symptoms, your speech therapist will tailor your treatment plan in order to help reduce and manage the above symptoms. In the case of speech therapy for children with traumatic brain injury, we’ll work with the primary caregiver as well to help guide the child’s development. Your child may be eligible under the early intervention speech therapy program as well.
A traumatic brain injury can significantly change the way you live your life, but it doesn’t have to mean a vow of silence. Book your appointment with Voz Speech Therapy today to see how we can help.
Speech Therapy For Cognitive Linguistic Impairments
A cognitive linguistic impairment is an issue related to impaired functioning of certain parts of your brain. In particular it can affect:
- Recalling old memories
- Forming new memories
- Attention span
- Organizational skills
- Finding the right words you need to communicate
- Problem solving skills
- Reasoning skills
- Executive functioning skills
- Social skills
- And others
Cognitive linguistic impairments are often the result of an injury to the right side of the brain. This doesn’t generally affect your language skills directly, which can make it difficult to diagnose.
However, it can still have a serious impact on your quality of life.
It’s sometimes considered as the opposite to aphasia. Whereas aphasia affects the left side of your brain where your language centers are located, cognitive linguistic impairments affect the right side of your brain.
As with speech therapy treatments for traumatic brain injury, speech therapy treatments for cognitive linguistic impairments vary from person to person. Regardless however, your treatments will focus on rebuilding the cognitive linguistic skills you need for your day to day life.
If you’re dealing with a cognitive linguistic impairment, we can help. Book your appointment with Voz Speech Therapy today to find out how.
Other Neurological Conditions
Speech therapy can help with a number of other neurological conditions as well, many of which have their own pages on this site. These include:
Book Your Appointment With Voz Speech Therapy Today
If you’re dealing with speech, language, or feeding & swallowing issues related to a neurological condition, there is hope.
Our speech therapists are experienced and trained to help individuals with neurological conditions recover from their issues and lead a more fulfilling life again.
Book your appointment with Voz Speech Therapy today to find out how we can help.