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Speech Therapy: How To Improve Cerebral Palsy Communication?

Speech disorders are common in individuals with cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy have trouble coordinating their facial, throat, neck, and head muscles. Which can lead to problems with

  • Chewing
  • Speech and swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Affect ability to interact and learn.

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder in which children have trouble controlling their mouth muscles and generating enough breath to speak. This motor speech disorder is mainly seen in Cerebral palsy patients.

How to improve cerbral palsy communication?

The primary purpose of speech therapy is to help people improve their communication skills. First, a speech therapist will assess your child’s communication and feeding skills. After evaluating your child, the therapist plans a specific program to help your child better control their oral motor muscles. Children with cerebral palsy who have trouble eating, chewing, or swallowing may struggle to grow normally and maintain a healthy weight. Speech therapists can help with these challenges, making it easier for your child to obtain nutrients and hydration. This can help your child to have a better quality of life and increase their independence.

Benefits Of Speech Therapy

For children with cerebral palsy, speech therapy can be quite beneficial.

Speech therapy has many advantages and enhances a child’s capacity to understand and use language. Other aspects of growth, including cognitive development and social and emotional development, rely heavily on communication. The benefits of learning to express oneself effectively can be observed in many different parts of a child’s life and growth.

Speech therapy can help:

  • Increase independence
  • Encourage learning and education
  • Reduce shyness
  • Improve quality of life
  • Improve ability to express thoughts and ideas and many more

Speech Therapy Exercises

Some common exercises of speech therapy are:

  • Breathing Exercises – These exercise can strenghthen your diaphragm muscles, work on inhalation and exhalation.
  • Articulation Therapy – Using language cards to help focus on certain sounds,encouraging children to produce sound while staring in the mirror to help them understand how their mouth moves.
  • Lip Exercises – squeezing their lips around a lollipop to increase strength.
  • Tongue Exercises – Sticking out the tongue and pressing it against a tongue depressor or spoon for a few seconds at a time helps to strengthen it.
  • Jaw Exercises – Eat food that require extra chewing, like apples and carrots this will strengthen your jaw muscles; practicing opening and closing your mouth using only your jaw muscles while someone else holds their chin.

Speech-Language Pathology Equipment

There is a variety of different types of equipment to help children to improve communication struggles. Assistive technology, or assistive devices, are used as communication aids for nonverbal children.

Speech Therapy: How To Improve Cerebral Palsy Communication?

Assistive Devices

  • Computers and keyboards
  • Specialized software
  • Alternative communication devices (AAC)
  • Tablets
  • Unaided communication systems

Tools

  • Books
  • Oral sensory chews
  • Straws
  • Dry erase boards
  • Flip charts
  • Flashcards
  • Placement tools (correct tongue positioning for certain sounds)
  • Oral sensory chews

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