Adult Speech Pathology
A speech pathologist may work with an adult for a number of reasons across different ages. The different diagnoses can be divided into a few different categories. These include:
Speech refers to the sounds that are produced by the lips, tongue and palate which make up the words that we say. Adults that see a speech pathologist due to difficulties with Speech sounds may include people with a lisp, people wishing to alter their accent for acting or for integration purposes, individuals with Parkinson’s disease that have reduced speech volume and clarity, both young and older adults that have had a traumatic brain injury and have difficulties with the muscular movements of speech.
Language refers to our vocabulary and formation of the sentences and stories we tell as well as the understanding of these sentence and story structures. Individuals that are treated by a speech pathologist for language difficulties may include People that have suffered from a stroke and present with Aphasia, Adults with Intellectual impairments, Adults that have difficulty with reading comprehension and writing.
Fluency refers to the speed and pace at which we speak. Adults that visit a speech pathologist for fluency problems include people that stutter or clutter their words and people that have difficulties pacing themselves when they speak.
Voice refers to the quality of the sound being produces by the vocal folds. A Speech pathologist may see someone with a voice disorders due to vocal fold palsy, vocal nodules are presbyphonia which can cause voice hoarseness or breathiness.
Swallowing refers to the ingestion of food and fluids either orally through the mouth or via a tube such as a Nasogastric (NG) tube, Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube or Percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy (PEJ) tube. A speech pathologist may be involved in investigating the case of swallowing difficulties (Dysphagia) in patients post stroke or surgery. Older adults are also seen by speech pathologists for diet modifications as their muscle functioning declines and they are no longer able to tolerate a normal full diet.
Alternative communication refers to other methods of communicating besides verbal speech. This can include sign language (e.g. KWS), communication boards, speech generating devices and Picture Exchange Systems (e.g. PECS). Speech Pathologists often see adults have Aquired Apraxia of Speech due to Traumatic brain injury, suffered a stroke or have a degenerative disease (e.g. ALS) that has rendered them no longer able to speak. Each individual is fitted with the appropriate device to allow them to communicate without verbal speech.
For more information about adult speech pathology, make an appointment with our Speech Pathologist. Contact us today.