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What is speech therapy and who needs it? ASHS (American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association) explains that “Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.”

There are many reasons adults and children would be prescribed a speech therapist. Leading the way are stroke and accident victims who might be left with cognitive-communication disorders. We often first think of stroke and accidents, brain injuries that impact the brain, but there are many other illnesses that require therapy to gain control over the tongue, vocal cords or larynx.

Benefits of Speech Therapy

When it comes to Alzheimer’s, ALS or dementia, speech therapy provides patients a higher level of independence for longer. It stimulates cognitive ability through activities that lie in the cognitive domain. Individuals learn how to compensate for their deficits enabling them to deal more efficiently with their challenges.

The ability to communicate is essential to quality of life and enhances the ability to comprehend and communicate. The domino effect is increased independence and improved self-esteem, important when you are recovering from a life changing event. A benefit to improving the ability to speak is better swallowing functionality.

As far as recovery and outlook, every individual’s situation is unique and specific disorders may require prolonged long term therapy.

The therapist uses different methods to achieve functional language to maximize communication skills. They are specifically trained to assist patients who struggle with many different medical issues and will outline a treatment plan to fit each individual patient.

Not only are communication skills improved but speech therapy can also improve cognitive development which then supports social skills. It is known to improve the wellbeing for dementia patients for these very reasons. It can also help preserve brain function associated with communication, memory and problem solving.

So, if you are wondering, “What do speech therapists actually do?” know that they are highly trained, licensed professionals that work collaboratively with all medical personnel. GoldLeaf Home Health medical services provide speech therapy as part of their exceptional care strategies. It is known to be an intricate segment of the big puzzle that leads to complete wellness for our clients.

*At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.
– Ann Landers