Speech-language therapists are educated to assess and treat speech-language, cognitive, communicative and swallowing disorders.

Speech-language therapists are also educated to assess and treat children with delayed or deviant language development, disfluencies (stuttering), articulation problems and auditory processing difficulties.

Who would benefit from speech therapy?
A speech-language therapist deals with the evaluation and treatment of patients with speech-language, cognitive-communicative and/or swallowing difficulties caused by one or more of the following:

  • Stroke
  • Closed head injury
  • Neurological conditions, e.g. Parkinson’s disease
  • Head and neck surgery
  • Congenital defects
  • Deviant or delayed speech and language development

In patients who have had a stroke or head injury, the speech-language therapist can help determine the nature of the person’s speech-language, cognitive-communicative and/or swallowing impairment and assist with therapy for improvement of communicative and swallowing abilities.

The speech-language therapist is concerned with improvement of the following:

  • Inhibition of primitive oral reflexes, e.g. biting, which can occur after a severe brain injury
  • Optimisation of oral functions for speech and feeding by providing passive and active oral-facial exercises
  • Swallowing and feeding by providing exercises for the specific swallowing deficit and feeding therapy
  • The use of language for communication by facilitating improvement of auditory verbal comprehension, verbal expression, reading and writing. Either verbally or by means of augmentative or alternative communication device
  • The use of language for higher cognitive skills, e.g. reasoning and problem solving
  • Social interaction (pragmatic) skills to facilitate reintegration to society, family and where possible, the workplace