Communication forms an integral part of everybody’s life, however, some may have challenges in doing so. A speech pathologist or commonly known as a speech-language pathologist is a highly trained professional whose expertise belongs to this field. The role of a speech pathologist is critical in developing self-confidence towards the participant as it gives assistance in developing one’s speech and language skills.
What is the Difference Between a Speech Therapist and a Speech Pathologist?
There is no difference between the two as both terms describe the same profession otherwise known as speech-language pathologist/ SLP. The term speech therapist is a layman’s term or commonly used by patients or outside of the profession, while the term speech pathologist or speech-language pathologist is the term used by those within the profession.
What Does a Speech Pathologist Do?
A Speech Pathologist is someone who specializes in providing a course of treatment (but are not limited to):
1.Individuals with communication difficulties
2. Individuals who have
· trouble eating
· difficulty in drinking and swallowing
These stemmed from different causes like congenital or developmental problems, disability, or physical trauma.
How can a Speech Pathologist Help Me?
A speech pathology will closely work with you, your carer, your family members, even consult with other professionals like a psychologist, social worker, neurologist, audiologist, and physician to provide you with the best treatment with your current needs. Treatment programs may vary from one client to the other as it depends on the current needs. He /she will offer a variety of supports like:
· speech therapy to promote better articulation
· speech techniques to help you cope with your stuttering like strengthening the tongue
· exercises to help strengthen your tongue, mouth, and throat to address your issues in swallowing food, therapists use the following techniques to help the participant with this problem- head positioning technique, swallow maneuvers, biting techniques, modification of food and liquids taken, coordination and strengthening of the jaw, lips, cheek and tongue muscles
· recommends ATs that will aid in your improvement
· assists you on how to use your AT or use augmentative or alternative communication devices
· assistance with reading and writing
· improving self-confidence and reducing anxiety when communicating with other people
· teaching sign language or gestures
· provides stress management to your family members
including activities at home in conjunction with the therapies being presently given
How can I Access Speech Pathology?
Speech pathology falls under Capacity Building Supports. The allocation granted will be based on the impact of the disability on your day-to-day activities. Your speech pathologist may provide the following services to you:
· Risk assessment, intervention, and development of management plans to address your swallowing challenges
· Assessment, prescription, and education to families, carers, and teachers for AT
· Assessment of therapy programs that will help in communication and cognitive development
Should you wish to have speech pathology included in your funding, you may contact your LAC or support coordinator so that you will be guided with the appropriate steps you need to take.
Do you have an NDIS plan and in need of a reliable speech pathologist?
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