Speech Disorders Essay

’Juanna Lynch Research Paper: Speech Pathology Speech Pathology Speech-Language Pathologists provide a wide range of services, mainly on an individual basis, but also as support for individuals, families, support groups, and providing information for the general public. Difficulties in producing speech sounds can cover a very wide range, from the speech errors that are the result of a cleft palate to the severely unintelligible speech of certain deaf speakers. There is a numerous amount of speech and language disorders. The first type is phonetic disorders. Phonetic disorders is of or relating to speech sounds.

Having a direct correspondence between symbols and sounds (Smit 179). An example is, a young woman who distorts the /r/ slightly. In her case, the exact nature of her distortion may be obvious only to a trained listener, and the distortion may not interfere with either her communication or her success on the job. Another example is, a teenage boy who produces /s/ and /z/ laterally. This distortion typically is a very prominent one, and it may interfere with communication by calling a listeners attention to the speech and away from the message. The second type of speech disorder is developmental dysarthria.

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Developmental dysarthria is any of certain disorders of articulation, as stammering, or stuttering, caused by a nerve detect (Smit 179). An example of Developmental dysarthria is a girl in the second grade who was born with cerebral palsy that resulted in weakness and incardination of the speech production mechanism. She communicates orally, but her speech is effortful and is intelligible only with careful listening. The third type of speech disorder and most common is CVA or Stoke. A stroke is defined by the Stroke Association as a ‘brain attack’, where part of the brain is deprived of oxygen.

It is also known as a ‘cerebrovascular accident’ or CVA (Koratamaddi). CVA, Stroke is a sudden disabling attack or loss of consciousness caused by and interruption in the flow of blood to the brain. There are two types of strokes: ischaemic and haemorrhagic (Koratamaddi). An example of CVA, Stroke is a man who has suffered a cerebral vascular accident resulting in a significant weakness in the oral and laryngeal systems. The stroke has left him able to produce speech only with great difficulty or, what is also called adult-on-set dysarthria.

The speech he can produce is obviously labored and is very difficult to understand. These examples illustrate that we can have speech sound production disorders for a number of reasons like failure to learn the sound system of the language (phonological problems), difficulties making the necessary movements because of neuromotor imparirments (dysarthria), or difficulties producing the sounds of speech due to other structural problems. The Speech Pathologist plays a very important role, and has goals for every patient they see.

The role of the Speech Pathologist is to ask specific questions to determine the problem and degree of its patient. There are five important questions designed to help them diagnose the problem. The first one is, “To what extent is this client limited in ability to communicate using the sounds of speech? ” (Smit 181). At this point, they are trying to estimate the degree of disability in oral communication, and for this task we use listener judgments, quantitative measures of connected speech, and standardized tests, as well as less formal measures (Price).

The second question is, “What characteristics of this clients speech and language contribute to this limitation in ability to communicate orally” (Smit 181). The goal of answering this question is to determine the components of disability in oral communication (Price). For example, perceived unintelligibility in a young child may be related to extensive use of phonological processes, to the presence of phonetic errors. The content, form, and use of the child’s language may also be related to the overall disability (Smit 181).

The third question is, “For this particular client, what potentially related variables are evident? ” (Smit 181). This question looks at impairment of functions. Such impairment may be present if the client has chronic otitis media, if the status of the speaking mechanism is compromised, if cognitive and language abilities are reduce, if there is a history of medical difficulties, or if there is a history of abuse or neglect (Smit 181). The fourth question is, “To what extent is the difficulty in oral communication likely to have psychosocial, educational, or vocational consequences? (Smit 181). When Speech Pathologist explore this question, they are estimating the degree of handicap experienced by their client. To do this they might use the reports of parents, teachers, and significant others in the client’s environment, as well as their own judgment of the degree of handicap (Price). And last but not least, the fifth question is, “What positive and negative prognostic indicators characterize this client? ” (Smit 181).

To answer this question about prognosis, they may use information from the client’s medical, developmental, and psychosocial history. They may examine the client’s response to stimulability tasks, and they may also evaluate variability of errors (Price). Also, the role of a Speech Pathologist is also to develop a comprehensive statement in terms of the answers to the questions we have asked. Furthermore, the statement will be followed by recommendations, and we assume that the recommendations will address all factors for which we are able to initiate change (Smit 182).

After developing a comprehensive diagnosis statement about the client’s communication difficulties, which will include statements of how the relevant variables contribute to the chosen index of conversational speech. A logical and recommended format for the statement is: General diagnosis statement (including the speech-language pathologist’s overall severity rating), Estimates of disability in speech communication, Statement of the components of the diablity, Statement of potentially related impairments, Estimates of degree of handicap imposed by the disability, and Statement of prognosis.

Statements of this sort may be titled “clinical impressions” or clinical summaries. There are four steps of inventory that each Speech Pathologist follows. The first is the most important inventory, which is the “phonetic inventory”, which is a listing of all the different sounds a child uses in two or more positions in words. The second inventory they might construct is called a “phonemic inventory”, in which we examine what the child does fo reach adult phoneme target.

The third inventory is a listing of all the word shapes used by the child, using C to stand for consonants and V for vowels. The last inventory in the analysis is the list of phonological processes the child is using. There are many ways to do this, including formal tests, formalized analyses of conversational speech, and computerized analyses. Speech Pathologist are needed all over the work. Their line of work may be difficult and rigorous at times but, they’re well respected for what they do.

They may be located in many different places like: public and private school, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, short and long term nursing facilities, community clinics, colleges and universities, private practice offices, state and health department, home health agencies, adult day care centers, and research laboratories (Smith). Because there is such a wide variety of employment settings, working conditions also vary. Facilities in most school systems and established clinics are comfortable and adequately equipped, as are most facilities for research, colleges, and private practice (Smith).

Since speech and hearing services are a vital part of total health care and the educational system, the number of work sites is constantly expanding. Because of the increasing demand for these services, work schedules may be heavy. An additional challenge is the constant need to update knowledge through educational experiences and reading periodicals. These challenges are balanced by the satisfaction of contributing to the quality of life of adults and children through facilitating the vital need of persons to communicate effectively.


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