Often when asked what do speech language pathologists do, the common answers that arise are; “they fix peoples speech’, ‘they help people say the /r/ sound” or “they help to fix a stutter”… YES WE DO!!! However, there is so much more to the field of speech language pathology.
Speech language pathologist are involved in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of speech, voice, language and swallowing disorders.
The speech component refers to any difficulty that affects the production and sound of speech. This can include not being able to say certain sounds correctly, unclear speech that sounds like mumbling or slurred speech, stutter, difficulty coordinating breathing for effective speech production or speech that has too much or too little air escaping the nose.
The voice component involves any abnormal pitch, loudness or quality of sound produced by the larynx. This may include a hoarse voice, a strangled vocal quality, a very soft voice or whisper.
The language component refers to word finding difficulties, delayed language development (late talkers), inappropriate interaction with each other, difficulty creating sentences correctly, difficulty with reading and writing as well as difficulties with attention and memory.
The swallowing component involves any difficulty with the process of swallowing. This may involve difficulty moving parts of the mouth to manipulate food, difficulty propelling food to the back of the mouth to trigger a swallow, coughing or choking when swallowing or any kind of pain before, during or after a swallow.
For any further information regarding speech language pathology please feel free to contact a speech language pathologist at your nearest CMRC branch.