LNG 222 Survey of Communicative Disorders
Instructor Michelle Ferrill
18 Feb 2013
Onset, Etiology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Aphasia, Childhood Apraxia and Autism Spectrum and Pervasive Developmental Disorders
There are various types of communication disorders. Speech-language pathologist’s (SLP) provide an assortment of services that relate to these communicative disorders for all ages, sexes and races. SLPs work mostly with children but also those with special needs, and adults, who have suffered speech impairment caused by an accident, stroke, and illness/disease so they may communicate better with others. An SLP will identify, assess, treat and prevent communication disorders of all forms, specifically, Aphasia, Childhood Apraxia of Speech and Autism Spectrum and Pervasive Developmental Disorders both receptively and expressively.
Aphasia is a neurological disorder that is caused by damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language. Clinical features (symptoms) include a common symptom in all types of aphasia, which are, the patient may show problems in auditory comprehension, word retrieval and it may affect a patients auditory comprehension, word retrieval/naming, reading, and/or writing and specific language functions like, naming (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). The Anatomy and Physiology of aphasia occurs in various parts of the brain caused by damage to language centers of the brain, typically in the left hemisphere (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). Etiologies (cause) is from localized brain damage from a stroke, TBI, brain tumor, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). Damage to the left hemisphere of the brain from a stroke will cause different speech/language problems than Alzheimer’s disease would. A stroke that may have affected the frontal parts of the left cerebral hemisphere, known as Broca’s aphasia, will greatly impair an individual’s speech. Their speech is slow, labored and sparse, which causes much frustration in the client because they are aware of their errors but cannot control it (Bullain, Chriki, & Stern, 2007). Alzheimer’s disease mostly affects the temporal lobe and associational areas of the brain and will lead to word finding problems, off-topic comments and problems with comprehension to word substitution and delayed responding; with the most severe characteristics being expressive and receptive vocabulary and complex sentence production reduction, pronoun confusion, topic digression and inability to return to an to shift topic are more pronounced; and writing and reading errors occur (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). Incidence and differences of age, sex and race of aphasia is nondiscriminatory. It primarily occurs in “adults in middle age and increased if the individual has a history of smoking, alcohol use, poor diet, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and TIAs or previous strokes (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011).” The normal growth and development associated with aphasia takes a rapid onset of symptoms when the cause is vascular, but it can also take many months or years to become evident if it is a tumor or degenerative disease (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). Treatment/Intervention approaches will vary depending on the individual’s disorder. An intervention process will need a complete and thorough assessment of each client’s abilities and deficits. The following assessment procedures should be taken, review of client’s medical history, interview with the client and family, oral peripheral examination, hearing testing and direct speech and language testing (Owens, Metz, & Farinella, 2011). The communication problems associated with aphasia will vary depending on the type of aphasia the patient has. According to ASHA, a person…