Last week we discussed some of the signs that can precede a stroke. Unfortunately, many strokes are not caught before severe damage to the nervous system is incurred. Today we’ll talk about two of the speech disorders that can result from stroke-based damage: apraxia and dysarthria.
Dysarthria is a motor-speech disorder in which muscles of the mouth, face, and/or respiratory system may become weak or paralyzed. This compromised movement results in slurred speech. The severity of the dysarthria can vary greatly, from slightly distorted speech to speech that is nearly completely unintelligible. Speech errors made by a dysarthric patient are consistent across speech, as the same muscles are consistently affected.
Apraxia is also a speech disorder that may result from a stroke. However, it differs from dysarthria in that the muscles themselves are not affected. Rather, the connection between the brain and these muscles is damaged, resulting in unpredictable movement. Like dysarthric speech, apraxic speech can vary widely in its severity. However, speech errors are inconsistent and may vary from word to word.
Regardless of the type of speech disorder incurred, a speech-language pathologist is often called in to help. A speech therapist will work with the patient to improve speech ability, as well as other modes of communication. The speech pathologist will work with the client and determine which ways may be most effective in augmenting his or her communication.
Have you or someone you know experienced a stroke? Contact us today at www.speechassociatesofny.com and let us find the perfect speech therapist to help you recover language and communication to the best of your ability.