ABR and Speech
Speech impairment can occur through a wide variety of causes. Whatever the original cause may be, the ABR Method provides a unique and highly effective means of improving a patient’s speech ability.
Speaking involves a complex synchronized sequence of subtle movements involving all the participating structures within the speech organism. When coordinated function is available, these combined movements serve to form the airflow into recognizable sounds. When structural deficiencies are present, coordination of the multiple levels involved becomes difficult or impossible.
The structurally determined problems lead to slurred or unclear speech as well as limited sound production.
Structural deficiencies are typically present as:
- an underdeveloped mouth floor
- underdevelopment of the mimic muscles
- blockage or limited mobility of the TMJ – (jaw joint)
- weakness of the trachea/larynx and surrounding soft tissue structures
- weak attachment of the hyoid bone
- weakness of the thorax resulting in uncoordinated respiration
A child who is born with such structural impairments may not even make an effort to speak. Children with lesser impairments may achieve a slurred and difficult to understand speech.
Even when undergoing extensive speech therapy, it is often impossible for stroke or accident victims to regain clear and flowing speech.
In such cases ABR targets the organs of speech formation directly. Applications to the neck area – including trachea and larynx, the mouth floor, jaw joint, and the areas of the mimic muscles bring structural improvements that in turn allow for intelligible articulation. Applications to the thorax in turn, serve to strengthen the thoracic musculature, and the soft tissue structures responsible for the bronchial passages and the lungs. These applications strengthen and regulate the airflow allowing for stronger sound production and improved intonation.
ABR can be successfully applied for brain injury related speech problems as well as speech development difficulties such as stuttering and lisping.