Speech-Language Pathology Overview
Speech-Language Pathology intervention serves to improve a person’s overall communication and swallowing functioning within the context of his or her daily activities. Regarding communication, services may target a range of related areas, including: speech, receptive and expressive language, social/pragmatic language, fluency (stuttering), voice, and cognitive-communication (Please review the list below for further information). Speech and language therapy may focus on rehabilitating/developing skills in the above areas and/or finding ways to compensate for chronic or persistent impairments to ensure optimal communicative functioning, and participation in daily activities.
Speech-Language Pathologists may assess and provide intervention for difficulties in the following areas:
- Acquired motor speech disorders (i.e. apraxia and dysarthria). Motor speech disorders typically present as a difficulty with the articulation of speech sounds and reduced overall speech clarity (intelligibility). This may be caused by stroke, other traumatic brain injury, or other neurological disorders (e.g. Parkinson’s)
- Oral language (speaking/listening)
- Written language (reading/writing)
- Receptive language (comprehension)
- Expressive language (i.e. word finding, verbal organisation, sentence formulation, etc.)
- Social/pragmatic language (includes the appropriate use of language in a variety of social settings)
- Stuttering clinic
- Functional/acquired voice disorders (i.e. resulting from overuse/abuse)
- Neurologically based changes to voice functioning (e.g. related to Parkinson’s Disease)
- LSVT LOUD® therapy program available, provided by certified clinicians
- Cognitive communication
- Attention/concentration, memory, and executive functioning (i.e. verbal reasoning/problem solving, planning, and organisation, etc.), specifically as it relates to communicative functioning
- Difficulty with chewing, managing/manipulating food in the mouth, and swallowing
- Includes cognitive and/or physical factors which may impact eating/feeding and mealtimes in general
- Intervention may include recommendations related diet consistencies, as well as compensatory strategies for eating/feeding
What to Expect
The Speech-Language Pathologist will evaluate the identified areas of difficulty and establish a treatment plan. Evaluation may consist of structured or standardized assessments, informal assessment activities, and/or observation of functional/dynamic activities. The treatment plan will include long- and short-term goals to be targeted in sessions.
Intervention typically consists of direct one-on-one sessions for block of sessions. Re-evaluation of progress may be completed, and the treatment plan updated, throughout the treatment block, or at the end. The nature of intervention sessions can vary greatly depending on issues identified and may include: structured and un-structured therapy activities/exercises, introduction and trialing of compensatory strategies and/or tools, the provision of client/family education regarding any relevant diagnoses/impairments and relevant strategies, and client counselling relative to his or her communication difficulties.
Sessions are usually held at the clinic but can also be held in the community or at a client’s home. Our Speech-Language Pathologists always work in collaboration with the client and his or her family, as well as other service providers and the clinic’s Interprofessional team (physiotherapy, audiology, and speech-language pathology) to offer the most well-rounded service to our clients.
Adults with all levels of abilities can benefit from Speech-Language Pathology services. In particular, our clinicians treat clients with acquired and progressive neurological conditions, acquired brain injury, or age-related changes to communicative functioning. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, nor is a diagnosis required in order to consult with a Speech-Language Pathologist. Services are available in French and English. If you have questions about your or a family member’s communication and/or swallowing functioning, please do not hesitate to contact us.