Rehabilitation of communication impairment in dystonia musculorum deformans
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Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) aids were used in three young, intellectually normal patients with dystonia musculorum deformans (DMD) who had severe speech and writing impediments. These aids included speech therapy, communication boards, and voice synthesizers for verbal communication and typewriters, memowriters, and computer software and printers for written communication. At times customized accessing was needed which required specific adaptive modifications. Implementation of the AAC aids system was determined effective for DMD patients in view of the intellect-sparing nature of the disorder. Improvement was hampered by the progressive nature of the disease and by the emotional stress of accepting the long-term use of AAC. Correct and early diagnosis of communication impediments are crucial for the appropriate AAC aids prescription and implementation. An AAC protocol is suggested to meet the special communication needs of DMD patients.
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