Finding the Right Speech Pathologist for Your Needs
When most people think about what speech pathologists do, they are thinking about the common problems associated with children in school. Many speech therapists do work in schools with young children with speech problems. However, the problems with general speech disorders are not necessarily relegated to just young children. High school age children can require therapy in order to be better public speakers or have better communication abilities. Elderly patients sometimes need the services of a speech therapist to overcome illness related speech problems like those following a stroke. Most of those types of therapy fall under the speech disorder specialties of speech therapists.
Specialty Areas of Speech Therapy
Therapy for articulation addresses the way a patient says each word and makes the particular consonant and vowel sounds. Phonology helps correct bad speech patterns. Apraxia is related to the articulation area of therapy. It involves help for people who have trouble coordinating oral movements to create the different speech sounds. In some cases, therapists can help professionals and students struggling with issues of voice that involve hoarseness or stuttering that are not a result of medical issues.
Both younger children and high school age children can need the help of speech pathologists to improve their speech patterns and communication. The therapists that specialise in the following areas focus on more specific details that are less a result of poor pronunciation than they do difficulties with understanding language or using it properly. Communication skills to relate to each other and to conduct professional conversations or public speaking are a part of this area of speech therapy as well.
Patients of any age can have speech problems due to hearing loss. Speech pathologists work with individuals of all ages to overcome those difficulties, and with problems caused by weak muscles in the mouth or throat.
One specialty that speech pathologists practice is usually dedicated to the very young infant or the elderly. Problems of the muscles in the mouth or throat area can cause challenges for infants and older individuals when eating and a pathologist can help determine where those problems are and how to treat them.
When looking for a therapist for your children, start with asking for help at their school or when speaking with their physician. Any therapist working with children should be a certified paediatric speech-language pathologist. If you are looking for yourself or older individuals, make sure the pathologist you choose is certified and specialises in the areas you need specific help with.
If you have questions or want more information on any of the topics discussed here, contact your local doctor, who will arrange for you to see a speech pathologist.