week 7 forum post responses 3

In need of a 250 word response/discussion to each of the following forum posts. Agreement/disagreement/and/or continuing the discussion.

Original forum discussion/topic post is as follows:

Review the video of speech and communication disorders in your learning materials for the week. In your opinion, which of these disorders has the greatest impact on the ability to interact with others? Explain the underlying biological mechanisms involved in this disorder including the role of cerebral lateralization and discuss if there are any available treatments to address them.


Forum post response #1

There are a variety of speech and communication disorders, which impact people’s ability to interact with others. All affect how people talk and communicate. This classification includes stuttering, brain injuries and stroke, Autism, developmental issues, voice troubles, and deafness. According to Drayna (Research Channel, 2010), disorders of voice, speech, and language usually erupt in childhood. These are actually pretty commonplace, with about twenty percent of all children experiencing a recognizable speech and communication disorder sometime during their childhoods (Research Channel, 2010). Most improve either with therapy or simply spontaneously, or all by themselves (Research Channel, 2010). A small percentage of these children, however, continue to have degrees of hearing loss, including profound hearing loss, accompanied by communication problems, into adulthood (Research Channel, 2010). There are non-specific causes, including adverse peri-natal events; as well as specific causes, which are still largely unknown (Research Channel, 2010). Of the different types, deafness likely has the greatest impact on how people interact with others.

Deafness has the greatest impact on how people interact with others. In this forum, I will use the term deafness to refer to people with no hearing in both ears. I will also be referring to people, who are born deaf or who develop deafness as small children. In both of these situations, the child also becomes impaired in the ability to process linguistic (language) information usually acquired through the ears, or via “hearing”. Due to this, the child’s development of speech and language skill sets will be also arrested. Then, because of this arrest, the specific regions of the brain dedicated to communication may also not develop correctly. This ultimately results in diminished academic fulfillment. It must be remembered that the child cannot hear his or her own speech, never mind the speech of others. This leaves the child without the ability to form sounds (speech) properly, if at all. Beyond everything, fully developed hearing at birth dovetails with a crucial period of language gain, which unfolds right after birth (King, 2018). When one is disrupted, so is the other. Most relevant, language is an extremely lateralized task, with most people demonstrating left hemispheric specialization (Finch, Seery, Talbott, Nelson, & Tager-Flusberg, 2017). Chilosi, Comparini, Cristofani, Turi, Berrettini, Forli, Orlandi, Chitti, Giannini, Cipriani, and Cioni (2014) asserted that, in most matters of congenital deafness, research also shows that deafness creates an atypical organization of the auditory nervous system; and it may even modify the cerebral asymmetry pattern for language that usually tends toward the left hemisphere during an infant’s initial months of life. Shibata’s research (2007) additionally confirmed that there are aggregate alterations in the brain’s anatomy due to early deafness. There is focal white matter hypoplasia within the left posterior superior temporal gyrus (auditory cortex and area connected with language comprehension) next to the language cortex region (Shibata, 2007). In turn, the researcher believes that early deafness creates atrophy of both the hearing and speech centers (Shibata, 2007). This causes all sorts of challenges for the therapists and doctors helping and supporting deaf patients, never mind the formidable challenges for the patients themselves. It is particularly noteworthy, however, that sign language (aka ASL – American Sign Language) adopted by children from birth originates within the right hemisphere.

Deafness can be caused by a number of factors including infections (meningitis), diseases (chicken pox), and medications, among other possibilities. Of these possible causes of deafness, one important one had been left out: a genetic inheritance. All of the conditions categorized under speech and communication disorders have a potent genetic component (Research Channel, 2010), including deafness. In this regard, it is important to “split hairs”. In explanation, deafness can be the result of genetic inheritance or the result of genetic influences, which may or may not necessarily fulfill the simple expected inheritance patterns (Research Channel, 2010). Deafness may also be the result of genetic mutations. The latter genetics can predispose people to deafness from – potentially – environmental features. Deafness occurs when the inner ear or auditory nerve receives irreparable damage of some sort. Biological damage to other delicate and intricate components of the ear can also create deafness. The ear may only have three parts: outer, middle, and inner; but there are also dozens of other mini-parts, which must all operate in harmony for hearing to happen. But, genetics, or those instructions received from genes, can result in hearing loss (CDC, 2018) attributable largely to cochlea dysfunction. The cochlea, the part of the inner ear that resembles a small snail shell, is entirely dependent on obtaining genetic instructions in order to develop and function appropriately (CDC, 2018). Of note, the GJB2 gene is just one of those genes that provide instructions for the Connexin 26 protein, which helps to guide the cochlea’s functionality (CDC, 2018). The cochlea is responsible for translating sound (vibrations) into neural impulses. Thus, a baby with a mutation of this gene will have hearing loss (CDC, 2018). This is the most common cause of “inherited” deafness. But, there are many other possible genetic explanations for deafness. Another example is a genetic (or inherited) malformation of the components of the inner ear.

forum post response #2

In my opinion and out the various ways one can communicate to the other, the disorder that has the greatest impact on one’s ability to interact with others is the inability to speak.

Speech or to be able to speak words or make sounds that come out in one’s own unique sound that is created by one’s own breath passing through cords that vibrate to make sound in various octaves as they make their way out through the throat and through the tongue and lips that formulate words; words that communicate what is in the mind and heart of a person that is conveyed through a voice that for some sounds like music. (What Is Voice? What Is Speech? What Is Language, 2017). It has been reported that millions of people do not just have the inability to speak, but to command their voice or speak as they would like that is due in part to issues with one’s larynx (voice box) that contains the secrets to one’s very own audible sound. An inability to speak could be due to an accident to the biological mechanisms (vocal box, lungs, muscles all about the head and neck and diaphragm) that one uses to communicate verbally (What Is Voice? What Is Speech? What Is Language, 2017).

Additionally, it is noted that some individuals may be able to speak but is delayed due to disruptions or damage to the left cerebral hemisphere (Badcock et al., 2012). An individual who has difficulty speaking fluently is identified as having a stuttering issue that prevents the person from speaking seamlessly (What Is Voice? What is Speech? What Is Language, 2017). Some individuals may not speak because they were born that way, or some choose not to speak. But, let us address those that are mute by physiologically due to preexisting condition(s) such as autism, anxiety or a social disorder or they had a severe trauma to the head or the mechanism that rendered them without the ability to verbalize (What Is Voice? What Is Speech? What Is Language, 2017).

Treatments for voice, speech and language impediments depend upon the origin of the disorder. Was it a stroke or an accident that damaged a portion of the brain that controls language, speech and one’s ability to think? Resulting in their inability to speak, write or understand verbiage or literature, this dysfunction is known as Aphasia, and Dysarthria which affects the muscles, and nerves in the face and respiratory system, which both afflictions will require extensive therapy with a speech-language pathologist and other specialists (Traumatic Brain Injury, n.d. & Aphasia, 2018). In short, treatment consists of training and stimulating the left hemisphere of the brain to do what it used to do that it can tell the other parts of the body to do what it needs to do.

Last, was a mechanism missing at birth, removed, or damaged due to illness, disease or strain that rendered the biotic apparatus inoperable temporarily and is being treated with medications, therapy and rest? Or is it so severely damaged (cancer) that the only treatment available is the issuance of a mechanized device that works in conjunction with other moving parts to give the individual a voice, although synthetic, it provides a means to communicate.

The role of cerebral lateralization as it related to speech is that in order for one to have command of speech to which they use primarily to communicate the left hemisphere of the cerebral must be fully functioning in order for one to choose words, in which to speak in a language that they can comprehend and be conveyed to and understood by other (Badcock et al., 2012).

Forum post response #3

This week’s topic discusses the genetics of speech and communication disorders. Dr. Drayna gave a thorough lecture of defining communication and speech disorders while identifying such illnesses from childhood and exponentially increasing throughout adulthood. There are various environmental and biological factors that are responsible for communication and speech disorders, such as “trauma (rare), low birth weight, perinatal adverse events, and some causes are unknown” (National Institutes of Health, 2002). Communication disorders can also be developed through hearing. If an infant is born without hearing, then it is difficult to learn how to speak, causing other progressive and biological disorders. Human genetics also play a role in communication deficiencies, which can be variations that are passed from parents to offspring, and other variations such as genotypes, and phenotypes.

Dr. Drayna examined how genetics influence communication and speech disorders to determine if such illnesses are more hereditary than environmental. He focused on his research background in stuttering as examples to visualize how genetics play a role in disorders. For instance, identical twins, who stutter, are two to three times higher/likely to stutter than fraternal twins, who only share half of their genes. Adopted children, who stutter, and are being raised by stuttering parents, is not higher than normal; in other words, stuttering children are not learning to stutter from their adoptive stuttering parents (showing that their adoptive environment does play a role in their disorder) (National Institutes of Health, 2002). In familial clustering, if a person stutters, there is a 50 percent chance his/her offspring or a first relative (i.e. mother, father, sibling) stutters (National Institutes of Health, 2002). Segregation studies have found been to be inconclusive when it comes to other factors rather than genetics.

In my opinion, deafness at birth would be the greatest impact to interact with others. Two parents with hearing dexterities, who gives birth to a deaf baby, would have crippling communicative effects on determining cognitive, emotional, psychological, and physical development. Both parents could potentially carry the gene that is responsible for their offspring’s deafness. Dr. Drayna discussed that deafness also causes other biological and communicative disorders that affects the auditory portion of the brain (National Institutes of Health, 2002). The biological mechanisms of deafness derive from hereditary genes passed from parental phenotypes, which are predicated on the organ of the Corti, stria vascularis, and spiral ganglion of the inner ear (Stover & Diensthuber, 2012). Because consanguinity is responsible for recessively congenital hearing impairment, “work-related difficulties, education and development delays, social stigmas, exclusion, and economic impact” of deafness exponentially increases (Dror & Avraham, 2009, para. 1). Formulating a comprehensive knowledge-based paradigm in molecular biology on the conceptualization of hearing and pathogenesis of hearing impairment is critical to identifying biological mechanisms in deafness.

Depending on the severity of hearing loss determines the treatment. For example, there are hearing aids for the partially hearing impaired. For more severe cases, medical professionals use cochlear implants, which are devices surgically implanted in the ear for deaf people to hear sounds and noises. Some patients may need surgery to correct their hearing impairment and there is even therapy (i.e. lip-reading, sign language, etc.) for those to communicate. Antiquated and modern research examined that the cerebral lateralization in deaf patients were predominantly dependent upon the right hemisphere of the brain, while performing well on the left hemisphere, suggesting that they are not impaired by their auditory-speech rehabilitation (Chilos et al., 2014; Sanders, Wright, & Ellis, 1989; Gibson & Bryden, 1989; Ross, Pergament, & Anisfield, 1979).

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