If you or someone you know has been seeking speech therapy to improve their speech, it’s essential to know what the reason for your visit was. For example, was your visit to a speech therapist because you were diagnosed with or finding signs of Alzheimer’s disease? Or, was your visit to a speech therapist because you or someone you know needed help with swallowing for an upcoming speech presentation or job? If your answer is one of the latter, read on to learn about other reasons to visit a speech therapist.
– Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a mental disease that affects the function of the brain and causes memory loss, language loss, and thought disorders. Speech therapists are specially trained speech-language Pathologists (SLP) to provide these services to patients with specific sounds or speech problems. Common problems include stuttering, having difficulty with speech fluency, inability to understand speech nuances, and problems with understanding body language. To ensure that a patient is getting the best care possible, SLPs must have training in a particular area of the brain that functions to handle speech.
– Auditory dysfunction. Some people communicate better with spoken words than with others, but auditory dyslexia impairs this communication. A speech therapist will use audio therapy to help patients with auditory dyslexia recognise words and their meaning. The resulting communication may not be perfect, but at least the person will comprehend what the words mean. It is a widespread communication challenge, which is why so many people seek speech-language therapy and the help of a speech therapist.
– Auditory processing issues. Certain sounds, such as those made by speech, trigger a response in the auditory nerve. These nerve impulses then send messages from the brain to the ears, becoming the auditory phonemes (or sounds) that ultimately produce the spoken word. If a person has a speech disorder, they may have difficulties with these sounds triggering the appropriate sensory responses. It can result in misophonic, delayed speech, or even incomprehensible speech.
– Communicative process issues. Speech-language pathologists work with deaf patients to ensure that their communication is fluent and reaches out to others in an understandable way. To do this, speech therapists enlist the help of patients’ families and partners, and they seek the help of professionals such as nurses or interpreters to ensure that the message gets across.
– Motor coordination issues. People with motor disabilities can often get by with a limited number of words, but they find it extremely difficult to speak and move their limbs. For some time, people with these communication disorders were labelled as slow learners or mentally retarded. However, advancements in science and technology have helped speech-language pathologist professionals create new ways to work with their patients. Today, speech-language pathologists can work to improve gross motor control and fine motor skills and speech articulation, language processing, and fluency.
– Communicating with a patient suffering from a language disorder. For example, a speech therapist in South Australia might not fix a problem like a hard accent, but they can help the patient learn how to communicate with others. One common thing is that a hard accent causes problems when a person tries to get words together.
Some patients also have trouble understanding written words when spoken to them in a different language. Sometimes a patient will start saying the words correctly but thinks they are saying them incorrectly because they are not used to hearing that particular combination of words spoken. A therapist can help the patient overcome that problem by being consistent with the instructions given to them, correcting them if needed, and helping the patient realise what is being said right.