Velopharyngeal Function: Some Important Differences Although there is some evidence of differences in velopharyngeal function depending upon the type of subject and the nature of the task, many speech pathologists base clinical practice on a single model of that function. This project investigated patterns of velopharyngeal function on blowing and speech tasks performed by normal ... Forum
Forum  |   February 01, 1973
Velopharyngeal Function: Some Important Differences
 
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Forum   |   February 01, 1973
Velopharyngeal Function: Some Important Differences
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1973, Vol. 38, 89-97. doi:10.1044/jshd.3801.89
 
Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, February 1973, Vol. 38, 89-97. doi:10.1044/jshd.3801.89

Although there is some evidence of differences in velopharyngeal function depending upon the type of subject and the nature of the task, many speech pathologists base clinical practice on a single model of that function. This project investigated patterns of velopharyngeal function on blowing and speech tasks performed by normal subjects, subjects with velopharyngeal competency for speech in the presence of palatal pathologies, and subjects with velopharyngeal incompetency for speech. Lateral cinefluorographic films were taken of each subject performing the designated tasks; measurements of velar height and velopharyngeal opening were derived from the steady-state portion of each task. Subjects with velopharyngeal incompetency for speech showed patterns of velar height and velopharyngeal opening which substantiated previous research indicating that the closure mechanisms of these speakers probably are not the same as those of speakers with velopharyngeal competency. The results are discussed with regard to (1) historically recommended nonspeech “exercises” for improvement of velopharyngeal closure and (2) a proposal that it may be misleading to view the speaker with incompetency simply as a case of “less-than-normal” velopharyngeal function. Such a speaker may, in fact, manifest an entire complex of neuromuscular patterns which is dissimilar from that of the normal speaker.

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