What is Speech and Language Therapy?
Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) aim to help a person to communicate to the best of his or her abilities. This means overcoming difficulties, whether by treating impairments or coming up with strategies to get round them. SLTs also assess and manage swallowing problems.
SLTs often work with people individually, sometimes in groups, but get the best results when they can also work with partners, friends, family, carers and co-workers.
People can refer themselves to SLTs, but sometimes a referral from a GP can give valuable information that enables better treatment.
In adults problems can include...
This affects language and is usually caused by stroke or head injury. It can affect spoken language, understanding, writing and/or reading. Aphasia varies between people and their lives will be affected differently. A person with aphasia might use nonsense words, might have difficulty producing any words at all or might have difficulty remembering the occasional word.
This affects the way speech sounds and is due to neurological damage that hinders control of muscles in, for example, the lips or tongue. It varies depending on the cause and can occur after stroke or head injury or in diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis or Parkinson’s Disease.
This also affects the way speech sounds but causes difficulty producing speech sounds without there being any problem with the muscles concerned. It can occur after stroke and varies in it’s severity
Cognitive Communication Disorder
This is where thinking and language overlap, causing difficulties in social rules, affecting the quality of communication and the ability to process complex information. It can occur after head injury but can be seen in other disorders too, and might only appear when the person starts to resume their former life, work and leisure.
This is problems in swallowing, that might cause food, drink or saliva to ‘go the wrong way’ and enter the person’s airway. Dysphagia can be a result of many things including stroke, MS, motor neuron disease, dementia, etc
What to Expect
Initially Kate will talk with you, and if you wish your partner, family or friends, about your difficulties and whether or not she can help.
Kate will then arrange to assess your difficulties in more detail. This will usually only take one visit and afterwards you will get a report if you would like one. Kate will then agree a plan with you . This might include one or two sessions of advice or strategies, or a block of therapy sessions, usually 4 to 8 weeks long. The sessions would usually last for an hour, but if you can't manage that long they can be shorter.
Where will it happen?
Kate will visit you at home, or anywhere else that you feel comfortable (work, local cafe, etc).