Audiologist and Speech Therapy
What are speech and language disorders? Speech and language disorders cause a person to have difficultly in one or more of the following:
In a nutshell, a person would have difficulty in the area of communication. These disorders can occur due to a wide variety of underlying causes, and may range from a few errors when producing sound to a full inability to use speech or language to communicate effectively.
How can a Speech-Language pathologist help individuals with speech and language disorders? The speech-language pathologist addresses the disorders through assessments and draws up an appropriate individualised intervention program. Treatment would depend on:
- The nature and severity of the problem
- The age of the indivudual
- The individual's awareness of the problem
In general, the speech-language pathologist helps individuals with:
- Articulation disorders to produce speech sounds correctly
- Stuttering difficulties to increase their fluency
- Language disorders to improve language comprehension and production
- Aphasia to improve on all areas of language, namely comprehension of speech and reading and production of spoken and written language
- Voice disorders to develop better control of the vocal and respiratory systems in order for them to obtain the correct voice production
Severe communication disorders by introducing the use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems
In addition to the assessment and intervention of speech and language disorders, the speech-language pathologist also addresses:
- Cognitive-communication disorders - namely attention, memory, abstract reasoning, awareness and executive funcions (e.g. self-monitoring, planning and problem solving).
- Auditory processing disorders - the inability to understand spoken language when no hearing problem is present.
- Swallowing disorders.