“DYSARTHRIA—a collective name for a group of speech disorders resulting from disturbances in muscular control over the speech mechanism due to damage of the central or peripheral nervous system. It designates problems in oral communication due to paralysis, weakness or incoordination of the speech musculature” (Darley, Aronson, Brown 1969: 246).
FROM THE BOOK:
Changes in the clinical picture of speech may sometimes become evident before full manifestation of an underlying neurodegenerative condition, therefore contributing to an earlier neurological diagnosis. An accurate diagnosis of dysarthria may be indicative of a particular type of a neurodegenerative disease and thus confirm a diagnosis from the neurologist, or—in the case of an unclear presentation—it may help resolve medical doubts […]
Izabela Gatkowska proposes a new SPEECH ASSESSMENT METHOD (SAM), grounded in her clinical experience with dysarthria, awareness of diagnostically important features, and the practical need to confine logopedic examination to tasks diagnostically most important and maximally tolerable by the patient. When diligently applied, the new SAM allows the diagnostician to identify overlapping dysarthric symptoms in greater detail and, when repeated, analyze their dynamics over time.
The point of departure for the current study is an analysis of the speech impairments observed in Polish adult neurological patients. Rooted in language, developed and tested in a neurological clinic, this original method of diagnosing dysarthric speech disorders shall be applicable for linguists, psychologists, and clinicians who work with patients speaking Polish, English, or Spanish. Dysarthria, after all, is a neurodegeneratively-conditioned speech disorder whose diagnosis is independent of the patient’s mother tongue.