While many people have a basic knowledge of speech therapy, many don’t really know or appreciate what speech therapy entails. Most of us have an understanding that speech therapy helps children with pronunciation of sounds or helps people who’ve suffered a stroke regain their speech. While these are both correct, oh there’s so much more!
What Does a Speech Language Pathologist Do?
Speech therapy can transform the lives of infants up to older adults if they have difficulties communicating and/or swallowing. Speech-language pathologists (aka speech therapists) see a wide variety of patients who suffer from a wide range of challenges and difficulties. To name a few, speech-language pathologists treat:
- late talkers
- children with difficulties with pronunciation, understanding spoken words, difficulties telling stories
- those with traumatic brain injuries
- those wanting to reduce the presence of a foreign accent
- those with swallowing difficulties after a stroke can all receive speech therapy
In addition to the wide variety of patients, speech language pathologists address a range of very specific skills and symptoms that include:
- language- the way we use our words to formulate sentences and understand what is said to us
- speech- pronunciation
- voice/resonance- our pitch, quality, volume of speech
- cognitive communication- memory, problem solving, listening
- aphasia- difficulties understanding spoken words and speaking after a stroke or brain injury
- dysphagia- difficulties eating and swallowing food
According to Kelly Cooney, a speech language pathologist at Therapy Specialists, you will find speech therapists across the continuum. "You'll find us in hospitals, you'll find us in outpatient clinics, you'll find us in skilled nursing facilities, and you'll find us in independent and assisted living communities. We are really able to treat out patients through the continuum of care."
How Can A Speech Language Pathologist Help Me?
Speech-language pathologists strive to help their patients identify and utilize functional modes of communication to communicate with family and friends, as well as help patients identify and consume the safest diet in order to maintain and enhance important facets of their lives.
In the end, the ultimate value of speech therapy is to create functional and meaningful communication and give patients more to look forward to in their daily lives, whether it's the ability to remember their family members’ names or consume their favorite foods with their friends and families. At the end of the day, speech therapy is really all about realizing a patient’s greatest quality of life. We’ve always found great comfort and satisfaction in our ability to bring this to a reality.
If you or a loved one are considering speech therapy or have any questions, please contact one of our clinic locations at your convenience.