What are Motor Speech Disorders? 

Motor speech disorders are special types of disorders that can be classified as apraxia or dysarthria. Simply defined, these are conditions characterized by issues that are related to coordinating the muscles that allow a person to speak. The muscle groups that control the larynx, vocal cords, lips, tongue, jaw, and respiratory system have to be addressed when seeking treatment for motor speech disorders. 

Speech Disorders

The movements of the said muscles and body parts have to be properly sequenced by the brain in order to create a running speech. The difficultly in executing such a process could lead to either apraxia or dysarthria. This condition may occur in children as part of their development differences or in adults as a result of illnesses, injuries, or neurological changes.  

What is Apraxia? 

Apraxia of speech, or simply apraxia, is a developmental or acquired disorder that is characterized by the difficulty in planning, sequencing, and coordinating the movement of relevant muscle groups to achieve speech production. It is a condition suffered by children and adults.  

Childhood apraxia is a developmental issue exhibited by a speech sound disorder coupled with an impaired consistency and precision of movements. This is usually a result of the brain working a little bit differently than expected. This indicates that apraxia isn’t a type of sensory problem or physical issue. It has something to do with brain functions. 

What is Dysarthria?  

Dysarthria may also be acquired or developmental and it is characterized by disturbance in muscle control, thus resulting in weakness, slowness, and incoordination of speech production. Or to put it quite simply, it’s having slurred speech. This condition is oftentimes the result of traumatic brain injuries, degenerative brain disorders, brain tumor, and stroke. Children may be born with this condition and studies suggest that it is highly associated with the FOXP2 gene.  

But whatever is the reason why a person’s speech is slurred, certain things can be done in order to correct it. For one, a series of therapy sessions may be conducted to slowly reconfigure the coordination between the brain and the muscles. 

Treatment for Motor Speech Disorders 

Motor speech disorders can still be treated, providing that patients consult with the right professional. The health practitioner who can help them most is a speech-language pathologist or SLP. These experts provide therapy services that include relearning the movement patterns for speech production. They also help patients learn specific compensatory techniques while also providing exercise programs and counseling not just to the patient but also to his or her entire family.  

To begin the therapy, SLP’s have to diagnose the problem first. They need to know the child’s age, health, and medical history. They also have to determine the extent and type of disorder suffered. After the diagnosis, they talk to the family members to tell them about their professional medical expectations and to ask for the family’s preferences or opinions. 

To get the process started, seek out SLP’s near you. An Ajax SLP is always ready to provide consultation to patients and parents of children with motor speech disorders. Their goal is to address the problem immediately and see great results in no time.  


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