Rober Kennedy Jr Voice Disorder

If you have ever heard him speak you know that Rober Kennedy Jr voice disorder makes it hard for him to speak well. In fact he doesn't speak publicly very often but when he was on "Larry King Live" back in 2008 promoting energy conservation he did a lot more than that.

He drew attention to himself and his problem. Rober Kennedy Jr voice disorder is called spasmodic dysphonia, or SD, and basically paralyzes the vocal cords and makes it difficult for the people who have it to make certain sounds or speech.

Spasmodic dysphonia (or laryngeal dystonia) is a voice disorder characterized by involuntary movements of the muscles of the vocal cords during speech. I read another definition that said the muscles make the vocal cords get stuck together and do not work right. Maybe an over-simplification but you get the picture. There are three types of spasmodic dysphonia (SD) and they are adductor spasmodic dysphonia, abductor spasmodic dysphonia, and mixed spasmodic dysphonia.

In adductor spasmodic dysphonia, unexpected, involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal folds (or vocal cords) to slam closed and get rigid. These spasms make it difficult for the vocal folds to vibrate and produce sound. If your vocal cords cannot make sound then you cannot speak. Words are often cut off or certain consonant sounds are difficult to start because of the muscle spasms. Because of this fact then the person's speech may be choppy and sound similar to stammering.

The person afflicted with adductor spasmodic dysphonia is commonly described as sounding strained or strangled when attempting speech. If you have seen the film that won the Best Picture Oscar this year, "The King's Speech", spasmodic dysphonia very well may be the disorder that King George VI was afflicted with. If you haven't seen the movie then watch it, you will understand what I mean. Surprisingly, the spasms are usually absent while laughing, singing, or in the case of King George VI, cursing. Stress or frustration often makes the muscle spasms much worse making speech literally impossible.

In abductor spasmodic dysphonia, the opposite happens. Sudden involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal cords to open and once again the vocal cords cannot vibrate when they are open. When the vocal cords are stuck in the open position air escapes from the lungs during speech. As a result, the voice sounds weak or soft, and breathy or whispery. As with adductor spasmodic dysphonia, the spasms are often absent during activities such as laughing or singing.

Mixed spasmodic dysphonia is characterized by involuntary muscle movements or spasms that open the vocal cords as well as muscles that paralyze the vocal cords and, therefore, this person's speech can either be strained and sound like they are strangling or soft and whispery at different times or maybe also all in one conversation. This is a basic explanation of Rober Kennedy Jr voice disorder and what he has to go through every single day of his life

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