Speech pathology therapists, commonly referred to as speech therapists, are medical specialists who work with patients who have any of a number of oral issues. These issues range from general communication to voice, language, and swallowing.
Speech therapists can help patients improve their ability to communicate and help them with tongue and throat disorders. A speech therapist can treat babies, children, and adults.
Five important reasons why an adult would need to see a speech therapist include the following:
1. Dysphasia and Swallowing Issues
Cancer and neurological issues can affect movements of the lips, jaw, tongue, throat, and larynx. This can affect swallowing, chewing, and speaking, so a speech therapist can help you regain those movements or help you learn workaround movements.
You will likely be asked to have a swallowing test, in which you are given food to swallow while the therapist watches how your mouth and throat areas are moving on a monitor. The monitor harnesses X-ray technology to capture the real-time images.
Stuttering is a speech disorder that causes a person to repeat words, stretch them out, or have a hard time pronouncing them. Feelings can influence stuttering, and the issue may be exacerbated by tension or excitement.
A speech therapist can help adults with stuttering problems by overcoming their situational fears and practicing methods to minimize stuttering. There may be certain sounds you have difficulty enunciating or finishing, and the therapist will show you how to get yourself through this issue when you’re speaking.
3. Acquired Apraxia
Apraxia is an impairment of speech and language abilities that is caused by brain injury, which may be due to brain disease or brain damage from a stroke or trauma. Adults with apraxia may have difficulty pronouncing words correctly, have speech errors and inconsistencies, and constantly grope for the right words. Your therapist will show you how to regain your speaking abilities again.
Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder whereby the speech muscles have been weakened, paralyzed, or damaged. This causes slurred, imprecise, or difficult-to-understand speech.
An adult with dysarthria has no control over his or her tongue, vocal cords, and larynx, and has difficulty forming words. Your speech therapist will teach you how to communicate despite these issues.
Aphasia is a partial or total loss of the ability to produce and even process language, and this issue results from a brain injury. An adult with aphasia has difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and understanding language.
A person with aphasia may have trouble naming people, objects, and events, have difficulty putting words together, may mix up words, and may speak in short phrases or single words. A speech therapist can help to re-train your brain to improve your communication and comprehension skills.
Speech Therapist in Wooster, OH
Our speech therapists at Wooster Community Hospital’s HealthPoint facility can treat speech problems originating from disease or injury. Our speech pathology team is composed of compassionate, board-certified speech therapists who have advanced training and years of experience treating communication and swallowing disorders.
For more information about our speech therapy services, you may reach us at WCH’s HealthPoint. Call (330) 202-3300 or fill out our online request form to make an appointment with a speech therapist. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!