Happy Better Hearing and Speech Month!
Speech-language pathologists (SLP’s) are experts in communication!
Everyone wants to be heard and understood. Speech language pathology is so important because it allows those with communication disorders to receive the treatment they need to reach their full communication potential. Without SLPs, many people would be left without the ability to share their ideas and personalities with the world.
Here are some specific areas where speech-language pathologists may work with patients:
- Speech—People with speech problems may not say sounds clearly or smoothly. This may make it difficult for others to understand them.
- Language—A person with a language disorder may have problems with expressing themselves, understanding others, and reading and/or writing.
- Cognition—This can involve difficulties with attention, memory, problem-solving abilities, organizational skills, and judgment.
- Voice—Hoarseness, breathiness, pain, frequent coughing, and other problems with a person’s voice may result from medical problems or from overuse or misuse.
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication—People may need or choose to use other ways to communicate besides talking. These include no- or low-tech and high-tech options such as pointing or gesturing, using picture boards, and using speech-generating devices.
- Feeding and Swallowing—Difficulties may include coughing or gagging during meals, food or liquid leaking from the mouth, or food getting stuck in the mouth or throat.
Working closely with the family/caregiver is crucial for every SLP. This helps to ensure that the skills addressed in therapy carryover to the home environment. SLP’s may encourage parents to:
TALK! ASK! ENCOURAGE!
Talk about what happens first, next and last in books.
Ask why questions, such as “Why do we need to eat breakfast?”
Encourage your child to express opinions and describe feelings.
As we celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month, let’s be sure that we are sharing the value and importance of communication with parents as this affects every child in every aspect of their life.