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Research Grant Awarded to Study Speech Treatment in CP Children

Posted on January 2, 2013 in Cerebral Palsy Research, Cerebral Palsy Treatments

Cerebral palsy can affect a wide range of life functions. From walking to speaking, someone with cerebral palsy may have to overcome many obstacles in life. Difficulty speaking often causes great frustrations from childhood into adulthood.

Now, researchers hope a new grant will help them look more closely at promising therapies for speech treatment, specifically in children.

According to the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation, a grant has been awarded to Carol A. Boliek, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta in Canada. Her research, which is ongoing, focuses on the use of specific types of speech therapies in children with spastic cerebral palsy.

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of the disorder and can result in extreme muscle stiffness. This tightening of the muscles can make it difficult to speak, either because the mouth doesn’t form the words correctly or the muscles in the throat have problems forming sounds.

Speech impairments in children with cerebral palsy can be very damaging. While a child’s mind may be functioning at the same level as other children their age, the inability to sufficiently express themselves vocally can hinder social and educational progress throughout life.

This isn’t Dr. Boliek’s first study on potential treatment options. She has authored or co-authored several other studies, including one earlier this year. Intensive voice treatment for children with spastic cerebral palsy and dysarthria showed promising results in improving speech performance among children with cerebral palsy.

Typically, according to the CPIRF, professionals use trial and error in determining what speech therapies help a child. This, they say, frequently results in mismatches or instances where a child isn’t given the best therapy for their particular needs.

If your child has cerebral palsy, you want the best for them—that’s understandable. The cerebral palsy lawyers of Salvi, Schostok, & Pritchard want to help. If you believe your child’s condition was caused by a mistake or injury during or soon after childbirth, contact us today to discuss your legal options.

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