It is important that speech and communication difficulties are recognised as soon as possible in order that the correct support can be put in place at an early stage, as this may lead to easier intervention techniques being possible.
Difficulties in speech can be due to a range of factors including difficulty with facial muscle control. Difficulties in communication can be due to factors such as sensory issues and articulation problems.
Different types of cerebral palsy may bring different issues. For example, those with Hypertonic cerebral palsy may find that their speech sounds slow and oral movements may require a lot of effort.
Those with Ataxic Cerebral palsy may notice that they have pauses in their speech, and may also have problems with swallowing.
Assistance for speech and communication problems may involve input from a range of experts including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and GP.
Speech and language therapy is a very important therapy for those experiencing speech and communication difficulties, and can be used to try and improve speech by aiming to strengthen facial muscles. Speech therapy may also have the benefit of improving other issues such as difficulties with eating and drinking.
Additionally, there are a range of tools and devices which can be used at home under guidance to aid and improve speech. These include simple tools such as straws, books and flashcards; and more technological devices such as aided communication systems, and computers with specialised software.