Speech Therapists do more than help people with a speech impediment. Yes, they help people who stutter or slur their words. They also work with people who do not speak clearly because of a medical condition (i.e., stroke, ALS, hearing loss, or something else). They work with people to communicate clearly and easily or give people techniques to help with their speech, but this is only some of what they do. The human body is complex, and so many things within our body intertwine. The complexities are where a Speech Therapist can work with people on more than just speaking.
There are two types of Speech Therapist
One focuses on educational needs, which typically works with a school district.
The other focus on a person’s medical needs and generally works for a hospital, out-patient facility, or home health agency.
Speech Therapists do more than assess a person’s speech
Speech Therapists may be essential for people who suffer from a medical condition with speech, language, voice or fluency disorder. A medical condition can include people suffering from a stroke or Alzheimer’s, or Dementia, to name a few.
They can assess a person’s cognitive communication.
They can develop exercises to help people increase the number of words they use or understand.
Assess a person’s oral abilities by assessing if they can feed themselves or swallow. Again, this can be important for patients that have been diagnosed with a variety of issues. Still, an example that comes to mind immediately is someone with ALS.
Develop a personalized treatment plan to help strengthen a person’s muscles to speak or swallow.
A Speech Therapist may also recognize a person’s deteriorating health condition and recommend their diet switch to more of a nectar diet.
They may diagnose an underlying problem to help develop a treatment plan (aka Therapy) by providing exercises a patient can do, then track the person’s progress.
There are other things that Speech therapists do that all relate to communication.
A referral to a Speech Therapist may be for a variety of reasons. If you feel a loved one would benefit from a Speech Therapist, you will need a referral from a doctor.