Plasticity is a hypothetical construct that would allow speakers to change or alter their current rule system in the presence of a problem such as a velopharyngeal closure deficit.
It is likely that all are important in velopharyngeal closure, and an appropriate treatment furnishes opportunities for the speaker to unconsciously engage in tasks that may facilitate flexibility or plasticity (Clark, 2003; Weismer, 1997).
Aims and Findings of Muscle Treatment Programs in the Treatment of Velopharyngeal Closure for Speech
There are different types of muscle treatment programs that have been and are currently employed by speech-language pathologists in the behavioral treatment of velopharyngeal closure.
A strength building exercise for velopharyngeal closure can be carried out with the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (Kuehn1991, 1997; Kuehn et al.
Velopharyngeal closure or movement toward closure occurs during dry swallowing, and having the client engage in "hard swallowing" creates the movement of a muscle group outside of its normal operating range.
Some of the subjects were able to increase muscle strength and/or range of motion through systematic resistance practice and improve velopharyngeal closure for speech.
Activities such as blowing, sucking, and swallowing have been employed, since velopharyngeal closure occurs in normal speakers during such activities.
The correction of compensatory sound system errors such as glottal stops has been shown to positively influence velopharyngeal closure (Henningsson & Isberg, 1986).