Communication through speaking and hearing is so much a part of life. Often, people take it for granted until it is taken away.
As people get older, they may experience injuries or illnesses that affect the way they speak, hear and communicate with others.
For many, this can be devastating and frustrating. However, because of Speech Language Pathologists, treatment and coping is available.
Speech Language Pathologists are professionals who are educated to assess speech and language development and to treat language and speech disorders. They can also help with swallowing disorders.
Many people have to be retrained on eating, speaking and communicating after a serious injury or illness. This is why Speech Pathologists play such an important role in life as May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.
How does this affect one?
Many people feel that Speech Pathologists are only found treating language problems in schools. Although correct, speech pathologists are the key to giving back a sense of self by giving the ability to express through the diverse methods of communication. For example, if someone has suffered a stroke, or has Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), they know how important it is to be able to eat, or speak after the illness is diagnosed. Some other things that affect communication and swallowing include:
* Dementia. A cluster of symptoms related to memory loss and overall cognitive impairment that is progressive and irreversible,
* Dysarthria. After a stroke or brain injury, the muscles of the mouth, face and respiratory system may be come weak, move slowly or not at all,
* Huntington's Disease. Communication, swallowing and cognitive problems,
* Laryngeal Cancer. Cancer of the larynx, resulting in swallowing difficulties, and
* Stroke. The symptoms of causes of stroke, its effects related to communication.