What can a Speech Pathologist help with?
Speech Pathologists help individuals with all areas of communication. It is a common misconception that speech pathologists only help people with stuttering and lisps. We definitely provide services for these areas, but we also do so much MORE. Most importantly, we work with individuals, their families and carers to provide support best suited to their needs.
Speech pathologists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, treat and support speech, using and understanding language, reading, writing, using voice, social communication and swallowing 1. But… what do all of these areas look like?
Speech pathologists help with Speech Disorders
Speech pathologists help children and adults to produce clear speech sounds. When speech is unclear, others can have difficulties understanding what we are saying. Speech Pathologists help people with how they create sounds to form words. Some examples include children who have not yet developed all of their expected sounds, a person with a lisp or someone who has an accent which impacts their ability to advance in the workforce.
Speech pathologists help with Language Delay or Disorder
Children or adults who have difficulties using and understanding language can be supported by a Speech Pathologist. People who have difficulties organising and expressing their thoughts and ideas, or understanding written or spoken language require support to communicate effectively. An example can be when when a child has difficulties structuring their sentences or have word finding difficulties that lead to communication breakdown.
Speech pathologists help with Voice Disorders
Speech pathologists help people who have difficulties with their voice quality, loudness and pitch. These difficulties can affect their ability to participate and function in everyday life or be in alignment with who they identify as. Typical clients we see are teachers, singers or people who have had throat cancer.
Speech pathologists help with Social Communication
Is your child finding it tricky to navigate the social world, joining play, conversations and making friends with others? Speech Pathologists can help support social skills and participating in socials situations whilst still remaining their authentic and true self. We acknowledge that each individual has their own style of communicating and preference of involvement in social situations. We provide tools and strategies which individuals can choose to use when navigating their way through the social world. Having an understanding of social skills can allow us to hold conversations and interact with those around us. It helps to build and develop relationships and friendships, providing a sense of social inclusion and support.
Speech pathologists help with Swallowing Disorders
Safely eating, drinking and swallowing is critical, and speech pathologists can assist those who have difficulty in this area. Both adults and children can have difficulties with swallowing. Neurological conditions, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and fussy eaters are often common causes for swallowing or feeding difficulties2.
Speech pathologists help with Literacy skills
Speech pathologist can help with foundational literacy skills such as letter-sound correspondence and being able to break down and put together a word by its syllables or sounds. We also help with more complex reading and writing difficulties, providing that one on one support that clients may require outside of a classroom environment.
But…doesn’t school or a tutor teach literacy? Speech Pathology assessments allows us to identify the source of a literacy difficulty. This allows us to target specific areas and build a strong foundation to allow all the literacy areas to come together. Speech Pathologist are qualified to provide evidence based strategies and interventions which are effective for literacy development and support.
Speech pathologists help with Stuttering
You might find yourself or your child repeating sounds, syllable or words in conversation. Speech Patholgogists can help individuals to reduce or manage their stutter. For parents, of children who stutter, Speech Pathologists provide parent education and coaching to support their child during therapy. Stuttering is consistent interruptions during speech that can be long pauses, repetitions of sounds, syllables or words or prolonging sounds. Stuttering can affect a person’s ability to express their thoughts and ideas clearly to others, and taking part in everyday activities or conversations.
Every individual is different
Speech Pathologists can help in so many areas for all types of individuals. We understand that the journey for every person and their family is different. This is why speech pathologists work collaboratively and closely with families and other mulidiciplinary professionals to navigate individual circumstances. We implement evidence based interventions which are also functional and realistic for the individual and their family too.
If after reading this you think your child would benefit from speech therapy, give us a call or look on our website to book a free initial consultation with a speech pathologist on our team. We are happy to answer any question you have if you think your child needs speech therapy.