Speech pathology, sometimes referred to as speech language pathology, is a field of medicine that deals with the process of diagnosing and treating of speech disorders and defects. If you would like to find out more about this fascinating topic, read below for a few things you may not know about speech pathology.
What Does Speech Pathology Consist Of?
It is used to evaluate patients with speech, voice, and language disorders and provide them with rehabilitation methods that can help them fix their impairments. This field of medicine is reserved for those patients for whom medical or surgical treatments cannot provide any solutions.
In general, prior to attending correction therapy, patients will have to undergo an assessment process that will determine their current condition and will set the foundation for the treatment and management. The speech therapist will evaluate the patient’s speech, cognition, language, and swallowing, using various tests and instruments.
Following this evaluation, the therapist will be able to come to an official diagnosis and establish a treatment. Typically, this therapy consists of one-on-one sessions between the patient and the therapist, which are conduct at least once a week. If the condition is more serious, more than one weekly session may be required.
Who Needs Speech Pathology?
The list of patients who would benefit from this therapy is quite vast. In infants, the conditions requiring such therapy may be as mild as lisps or as severe as autism. Other medical conditions, particular to children and infants, which would benefit from speech therapy, include various genetic disorders which also affect speech, such as a cleft palate or Down syndrome, the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), hearing impairments, dyslexia, or language delays.
Although most speech pathology patients are children and infants, there are situations where adults also need this type of treatment. Speech impairments which can be corrected in adults occur in various medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and various cancers located in the throat, neck, or head.
Where to Find a Speech Pathology Professional?
For anyone looking for a speech pathology provider there are many options to choose from. All major public and private hospitals have this type of services within their facilities. Some speech pathologists work independently, from their own private practice, so you can look for one that is located near you.
Some schools, universities, or colleges also employ the services of speech pathology professionals and students who are enrolled in those institutions can benefit from appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. Other places where you could find a professional working in this field include nursing facilities, hospices, or long term care facilities.
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