The Communication Self-Efficacy Scale (CSE) for family caregivers of those with aphasia is conceptually defined as a scale to measure self-recognition of their ability to provide care and a communication environment to aphasic family members. Awareness of communication self-efficacy in families with aphasic members is a factor that influences the extent to which effort can be devoted tirelessly to communication with aphasics, and can be a predictive factor in the transformation to appropriate behavior.
We analyzed responses to the CSE conducted on 60 family members of aphasic individuals and studied family communication issues by the degree of aphasia severity. We found that self-recognition among families in the severe to moderate group was high for suppressing emotions toward communication difficulty, but was low with respect to conversational environment, use of strategies to increase accuracy, and use of communication tools. Self-recognition for families in the moderate group was comparatively high regarding use of communication tools, but was low for conversational environment and use of strategies to increase accuracy.
For items where self-recognition is low for families in the severe to moderate group and the moderate group, families require support to encourage behavioral changes suited to the communication symptoms of the aphasic member.
In this study, we investigated the attainment level of reading and spelling of Hiragana characters in 230 kindergarten children using the same method employed in earlier studies conducted by the National Language Research Institute (1972) and Shimamura and Mikami (1994). The tested children read 64.9 and spelled 43.0 out of 71 characters correctly on average. These results were similar to those of Shimamura and Mikami's report. Analysis of variance revealed the main effect of gender in the spelling task. The score of girls was higher than that of boys. This result coincides with the earlier study.
Ten patients diagnosed with adductor spasmodic dysphonia (ADSD) read aloud eight homonyms while ten healthy university students who speak standard Japanese judged the word meanings. Results of the assessments revealed that the intra-evaluator matching was 88.6%, with 19/80 samples (23.8%) misjudged by more than half of the evaluators. These samples were classified as either 1) voiced/unvoiced or 2) an accent kernel position. Homonyms that were constructed from serial voiced syllables (11/19 samples) or with the accent kernel position in the second mora (13/19 samples) tended to be misjudged. Difficulty of speech in ADSD patients affects not only "voice" disorders but also "speech" disorders, including voice pitch adjustment, and these adjustment errors may lead to low speech intelligibility.
Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a functional disorder in which there is an absence of vocal cord opening during inspiration caused by vocal cord adduction. Here we report a case of VCD following bronchial asthma.
The case was a 15-year-old male who was suffering from coughing and rhinorrhea for 16 days prior to visiting our hospital. The previous internal clinician had treated him with medication and inhalation, and his symptoms temporarily subsided. However, dyspnea soon recurred and inspiratory stridor improved only marginally. After visiting our hospital for treatment of the dyspnea and inspiratory stridor, VCD was diagnosed based on confirming paradoxical vocal cord movement under a fiberoptic laryngoscope. Laryngeal relaxation exercise was provided from the time of diagnosis, and the paradoxical vocal cord movement and his symptoms completely recovered one week after the therapy. We conclude that early diagnosis and intervention of laryngeal relaxation may shorten the duration of VCD.
Video self-modeling (VSM) is a behavioral treatment method during which people view video images of themselves free of their problem target behavior. A young male adult case with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and stuttering underwent VSM primarily for stuttering. The first edited video, which consisted solely of his fluent speech segments, evoked negative emotions in him due to the behavioral characteristics of ASD in the video, resulting in discontinuation of VSM. Therefore, a second video, in which he suppressed his behavioral characteristics of ASD, was prepared and introduced to him, which he then viewed without negative reactions. After three months of viewing the second video, the frequency of disfluencies during free conversation declined while his self-rating and satisfaction toward his own speech improved. After the VSM, he reported that he became able to imagine himself speaking fluently for the first time. This case demonstrated that viewing one's own video images while speaking might be useful for modifying the behaviors of those with ASD who stutter, not only as VSM but also from the perspective of video feedback if their reactions are closely monitored.
The usefulness of laryngeal framework surgery (LFS) for unilateral vocal cord paralysis is well known, but only a limited number of institutions normally perform this surgery. We introduced an induction course for laryngeal framework surgery at an institution having no instructing physician, supported by hospital staff. Our experience indicated that the induction course works well if certain conditions are met: for example, sufficient experience in neck surgery by the physician undergoing the training, and innovation in the administration of anesthesia. For optimal LFS training, it is preferable for the instructor and trainee to undergo the induction course at the same institution; however, when assignment to a different facility is not possible, the hospital collaboration system can support mastery of LFS by trainees at institutions where there is no instructing physician on the staff.