Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Some individuals with cerebral palsy struggle to control the muscles in their face, throat, neck, head and thorax (where muscles for breath support to power the voice are located). This can lead to difficulties with speech, voice, chewing and swallowing which in turn can impact the ability to interact with others and to learn.
Communication impairments are very common in individuals with cerebral palsy, the severity of which can range from mild intelligibility difficulties to profound impairments where spoken language is not feasible and augmentative or alternative communication devices are considered. Technology is advancing at a quick pace; some individuals who cannot control their limbs may be able to access or control their communication system by way of eye gaze.
The speech-language pathologist conducts a thorough assessment to determine barriers to participation in life and develops a treatment approach that optimizes communication and oral food and fluid intake. The benefits of therapy to address understanding and use of communication heavily impact cognitive, social and emotional development and overall quality of life.