Speech and Language Therapy is the service provided for individuals with difficulties in communication and/or swallowing.
Communication is the exchange of information (knowledge, experiences, thoughts, feelings, and ideas) between two or more people. It is essential to learning and for enjoying family life and friendships. It may be through verbal means (that is by talking and listening) or by non-verbal means (body language, facial expressions, gestures, sign language, picture or symbols, written and many others).
Communication difficulties differ depending on the type of client. The most common difficulties include:
|Delayed speech and language skills||Dysarthria (slurred speech)|
|Articulation errors||Voice disorders|
|Voice disorders||Acquired language disorders|
|Auditory processing disorder||Laryngectomy|
|Specific language impairment||Aphasia|
|Down’s syndrome||Parkinson’s Disease|
Some of these difficulties occur in isolation or are associated with another primary area of difficulty.
SLTs are qualified professionals trained to assess, manage, and provide treatment for children and/or adults with communication and/or swallowing difficulties.
When seeing an SLT for the first time, an assessment will be conducted.This allows the therapist to gather necessary information about the client’s concerns and current communication and/or swallowing skills. The therapist will then recommend an intervention plan best suited to the individual’s needs.
Depending on the individual’s needs as indicated by the assessment, different types of intervention may be offered, including:
- individual therapy
- group therapy
- parent/carer training sessions
- home programme
A client may be discharged from Speech and Language Therapy when s/he:
- achieves the therapy goals or is able to continue on a home programme with minimal guidance from the therapist
- is not suitable for further therapy