SPEECH-LANGUAGE & SWALLOWING THERAPY
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:
- 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