Speech-Language Pathology for Adults — How It Can Help You

 In Speech-Language Pathology

People often wonder just what it is that Speech-Language Pathologists — or SLPs for short — are, and who they treat. Usually, the assumption is that SLPs work with just children on speaking and reading. And, whereas this is true and we love the work that we do with children, this is only scratching the surface of our abilities and what we have to offer.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association defines a communications disorder as one that is “an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal, and graphic symbol systems.” This is fairly broad, but that’s simply because there are so many different possibilities for practical treatment that we can engage our patients in.

Many people are cognizant of what we have to offer for children, but our treatment options for adults go even further. Let’s dive in to what’s out there and available, and the point at which you should contact us if you’re in need of treatment we have to offer.

Swallowing Disorders and Dysphagia

Eating is one of the most important parts of being human. It’s how we survive, build community, and share special memories with those we love. But what happens when someone develops a condition which makes swallowing difficult or impossible? This condition is called dysphagia, and it affects millions of people every day.

For people who suffer from dysphagia, it can be quite debilitating. This treatment is especially helpful for people who have trouble with the muscles along the throat and jaw when it comes to issues of eating. For instance, you might notice in yourself or a loved one that they are having to cut their food into smaller and smaller bites, take long periods of time to finish normal meals, avoid meals altogether, coughing or gagging during meals, and a whole host of other potential issues.

This can be really hard on the person, especially if it’s causing an inability to eat as well as the embarrassment that can go along with the condition. It’s important, however, to note that there is no reason to be embarrassed about this — it’s a completely legitimate medical condition that we can treat.

Our SLPs are specially trained to identify how to best engage the patient in strategies and practices that will make mealtimes less stressful, and for many, less dangerous. This is especially the case for people as they age, people who have had some sort of damage from a stroke, or any other disorder which affects this part of the body, including neurological disorders and problems with their nervous system.

Also in this column, Chandler Speech offers neuromuscular electrical stimulation, or e-stim for short. E-stem dysphagia treatment requires consistency, but can have great outcomes when it comes to addressing the muscles used in swallowing that can help you prevent having to do such extreme modifications of your diet.

If you or someone you love is having problems like the ones listed here, contact us to set up a consultation to see how we can help!

Cognitive-Communication Treatment

It’s terrible whenever a family member develops a cognitive disorder that starts to impede their memory and ability to function in life. They can be fraught with difficulty, and the emotional connection to a loss in cognitive function is a serious problem that only makes the condition worse.

This can include people suffering from dementia, aphasia, executive function disorders, and a whole host of others. When people start having issues in the brain like these, speech patterns can break down. Patients suffering from this condition often have to contend with issues such as not being able to find a specific word or phrase to communicate what they’re thinking.

Many times, this can lead to frustration, embarrassment, social isolation, and many other negative outcomes. The good news is that with structure and practice, there are strategies to help the patient cope with what’s going on. Furthermore, offering exercises to family and loved ones who can help the patient will aid in the treatment plan.

Generating strategies for patients and loved ones also has the positive effect of boosting confidence and self-esteem, allowing them to more effectively engage others in conversation.

Cognitive disorders can already trigger great fear and a tendency toward being alone. With the right plan, you or your loved one can make a plan and work on this to improve the symptoms over time.

If you would like to know more about this type of service, please click here, and know that you have a full staff of qualified, experienced therapists to help you through this issue.

Parkinson’s Disease Therapies

We have a full suite of offerings for those specifically suffering from Parkinson’s. Often times, Parkinson’s patients notice a whole host of issues when it comes to being heard and being able to communicate in a confident, effective manner.

There is a fundamental breakdown in the autonomic systems that most of us take for granted when it comes to our ability to speak. As such, we focus on therapies that train you to speak with intention and to be heard!

One of these therapies is SPEAK OUT!®, a program that offers flexibility in scheduling as a patient works with an SLP to speak with confidence. Another form of therapy is called LSVT LOUD®, which is a consistent, and intense therapy which teaches patients to “re-calibrate” their perception of communication so that they can get better at adjusting their volume to specific situations.

Post-Stroke Rehab & More

There are a lot of options for all sorts of conditions. If you’re suffering after a stroke, there are therapies which can help you bring basic functioning to improve your speech patterns. We can also help with cognitive issues you might face, mentioned in the section above.

There are also options for those who struggle with basic stuttering, pitch issues, and hoarse or overly breathy speech. You can find more information on those options here.

At the end of the day, it’s important to know that our SLPs have your health and well-being on our minds. We want you and your loved ones to live the highest quality life you can, and to help adapt therapies to your unique condition.

If there’s anything mentioned here that you’ve been struggling with, please don’t wait. Starting treatment as early as possible will help to get the best results. So contact us today if you have any questions, and see how you can live your best life.

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