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Celebrating Better Speech and Hearing Month and the Role of Speech Pathologists in Battling Speech Disorders

In this Blog, I usually talk about a variety of specific issues faced by people who have challenges with their speech and the people who help them deal with these challenges (including caregivers and family members). But sometimes it’s good to step back and look at the bigger picture. And since May is Better Speech and Hearing Month (some organizations flip it around and call it Better Hearing and Speech Month, but I’m good with either title), this is as good a time as any! So, in this post,...

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AAC for Autism: Using Apps for Nonverbal Communication to Help Autistic Adults Communicate Better

April is Autism Awareness month, so that makes this the perfect time to reflect on the question of how to support the communication needs of people on the autism spectrum. In this post, I’ll explore how AAC apps such as APP2Speak can benefit those on the spectrum who struggle with communication challenges. Common Signs of Autism in Adults First, let’s talk about autism in adults. While most people are diagnosed as being on the spectrum while they’re children, many young adults and adults,...

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Returning to Work with Speech Assistance Apps: How Nonverbal Adults Can Reconnect to All Aspects of Life

Nonverbal adults who have difficulty speaking and communicating due to conditions such as stroke, brain injury, or physical disabilities caused by surgery (for example, a laryngectomy), may find it challenging to return to work or engage in social interactions. For example: The inability to communicate effectively can lead to a lack of confidence, difficulty in expressing ideas, and frustration. These challenges can be especially pronounced in jobs that require a lot of communication, such as...

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The Bruce Willis Story Brings Awareness to Frontotemporal Dementia

This past year, America was shocked when it learned that popular actor Bruce Willis had been diagnosed with aphasia. This came out when the family released a statement on social media that Willis would be stepping back from acting due to the condition. More recently, we’ve learned about an even more specific diagnosis for Willis’s condition—frontotemporal dementia. Again, Americans were shocked.  “Dementia?” they wondered. “Doesn’t that just affect people in their 80s and 90s?” Not really....

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The Power of AAC Apps for Android (and Apple) Devices: A Customer Story about APP2Speak

Usually, I use this space to share information that’s helpful to our target audience—people who cannot speak for one reason or another (traumatic brain injury, disease, degenerative condition, etc.) But from time to time, I hear from one of our customers directly, and the story is just too good not to share with the world…so that’s what I’m doing today. I was recently introduced to one of our APP2Speak users (Bob) through a customer service inquiry from his best friend, Wayne.As you’ll see in...

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A Curious Situation: When People Who Cannot Speak Won’t Accept Help

In my last blog post, I wrote about a challenging situation faced by many people who cannot speak—family members and caregivers who don’t help as much as they could or should. Today, I want to address the opposite situation: when nonverbal adults DO have the people and tools available to them to help them communicate, but for one reason or another, choose not to take advantage of those opportunities to their fullest.  It may seem strange to think that someone who has lost the ability to speak...

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An Often-Overlooked Challenge for People Who Cannot Speak: Families and Caregivers Who Hold Them Back

People who cannot speak face significant challenges. First, there’s the inescapable fact of their condition. Once upon a time—prior to the stroke, the brain injury, or the onset of the condition that has robbed them of their ability to speak—they were able to communicate as well as anyone else. Now, that ability to fluently communicate through speech has been taken away, whether temporarily or long-term. Obviously, this change in their condition can lead to deep sadness, even depression. And...

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Memory Aids and Memory Strategies for People Struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease

Normally, in this blog, I stick to topics that revolve around the challenges faced by people who have lost or are losing their ability to communicate through speech. As the creator of APP2Speak, a speech app, I usually prefer to “stay in my lane.” However, there are times when I have important information that I feel needs to be shared concerning situations caregivers might face that might not include speech challenges—or that might be present in addition to speech challenges. For example, you...

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The Memory Book: A Powerful (Analog or Digital) Communication Tool

People may lose their ability to speak for many reasons—a stroke, a traumatic brain injury, a disease such as Parkinson’s or ALS, or age-related cognitive decline (among many others). But while all of these events are tragic, not all of them necessarily lead to the loss of one’s ability to communicate. Someone who has a stroke, for example, may lose their ability to speak or may not, depending on what part of the brain has been affected. There are also many reasons why a person may suffer from...

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Don’t Let Dysarthria Symptoms Stop You: A Speech Impairment App May Be the Solution

Dysarthria Definition Dysarthria is a condition that occurs when the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them. It often causes slurred or slow speech that can be difficult for others to understand. Other symptoms may include uneven speech volume, uneven speech rhythm, rapid speech that’s difficult to understand, or monotone speech. Causes of Dysarthria There are many possible causes of dysarthria. Common causes include conditions that cause facial paralysis...

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