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  • Tara Albright DPT

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist

What is a Speech-Language Pathologist and What Do They Do?

Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists or SLPs work with people of all ages. SLPs evaluate, diagnose and treat a variety of cognitive, communication and swallowing problems. These may include problems with the following:

*Language- how well we understand what we hear or read and how we use words to express what we are thinking.

*Speech- how well we say sounds and put sounds together to form words.

*Voice- how our voices sound.

*Fluency- how well speech flows.

*Cognitive-communication- how well our minds work. Use of memory, attention, problem solving, organization, word finding and other thinking skills.

*Swallowing- how well we chew and swallow food and liquid.

Diagnoses commonly treated by a speech therapists include the following:

*Expressive and/or receptive language delay - difficulty with expressing thoughts or comprehending spoken language.

*Speech articulation impairment - difficulty with producing sounds correctly.

*Voice disorders - problems with pitch, volume, tone or quality of one’s voice.

*Vocal cord dysfunction - a breathing and voice difficulty cause by restriction of the airway.

*Stuttering - difficulty with normal fluency and flow of speech.

*Mild cognitive impairment - mild deficits in memory, attention, language and thinking or judgment.

*Cognitive communication deficits - difficulty with thought processes and language related to memory, attention, word finding, and related thinking skills.

*Aphasia - difficulty speaking or comprehending spoken language often due to stroke or brain injury

*Apraxia - difficulty with motor coordination of speech

*Dysarthria - a muscular disorder that makes it difficult to understand a person’s speech.

*Dysphagia - difficulty with any aspect of swallowing difficulties.

* Post stroke, neurodegenerative diseases (i.e. Parkinson’s), traumatic brain injury or concussion related deficits

Speech therapy provides individualized sessions to address a variety of cognitive, communication and swallowing concerns in order to assist the client in improving their functional capabilities. Clients participate in targeted therapeutic exercises and activities, as well as education and training in home exercise programs that include compensatory strategies to assist them in achieving their therapy goals.

How to get treatment:

Please contact your physician to discuss a referral for speech therapy at our clinic, if you or your loved one have any concerns regarding cognitive, communication or swallowing function. Speech therapy is a wonderful resource to address these areas of concern and can ultimately give you or your loved one more independence, confidence and a better quality of life.

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