When hearing the term “speech pathology”, a lot of people visualise health professionals who tend to children with speech difficulty and language disorders. However, there is more to this branch of medicine than we usually know. A speech pathologist Brisbane has today can actually work with various patients, assessing the cause of their problems and developing a programme to manage and treat their disorders. They do their job in different settings, from private clinics to corporate workrooms.

In this article, you will know what exactly a speech pathologist is and what they do for children and adults alike.

What Is a Speech Pathologist

A speech pathologist, or more formally known as a speech-language pathologist, is a medical specialist who provides support and treatment for people with language, speech, cognitive communication, social communication, and swallowing disorders. So, what are the distinctions between these conditions?

Language disorder – This condition sees a person having difficulty understanding what other people say, sharing their thoughts, and expressing their feelings.

Speech disorder – This is where a person has difficulty producing speech sounds fluently or correctly or has a problem with their voice or resonance.

Cognitive communication disorder – This is manifested when a person has difficulty paying attention, organising ideas, remembering thoughts, planning things, and solving simple problems. It can be caused by traumatic brain injury, stroke, or dementia, though it can also be congenital.

Social communication disorder – This happens when a person has trouble using verbal and non-verbal communication gestures to communicate with others. It is common in people who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or traumatic brain injury.

Swallowing disorder – Formally known as dysphagia, this is when a person experiences difficulty feeding and swallowing. It is usually caused by an injury, surgery, stroke, and other illnesses.

Aside from these disorders, a speech pathologist Brisbane clinics have can also work on other conditions and situations. For example, they can provide aural rehabilitation for the deaf or those having a hearing impairment. They can also work with people who do not have any disorder, but just want to develop their skills to communicate more effectively.     

Speech Pathology for Children

As for children, speech pathology disability services Brisbane clinics offer are used to treat speech and language disorders that they might already have since birth. These include problems with making sounds, pronouncing syllables, or speaking entire words, making it difficult for them to communicate with other children and cope up with school.

Speech pathologists work with these children in a one-on-one or a group setting to overcome the problem. They use a variety of strategies depending on the patient’s situation, such as articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and oral-motor therapy.

Speech Pathology for Adults

As previously mentioned, speech pathology is applied in people who suffer from communication and swallowing disorders due to traumatic brain injury, stroke, or other serious illnesses.

However, it is also used in an occupational setting for those who want to communicate more effectively. This is done using certain communication enhancement techniques, such as accent modification.

Like occupational therapy Brisbane has today, speech pathology can help develop and strengthen an employee’s communication skills to achieve a better and more meaningful work life. The things that a person learns from a speech-language therapy programme will make a huge difference in how they perform in their current and future employment.

Importance of Family Involvement in Therapy

The success of therapy does not depend on the disability support services Brisbane has to offer alone. The support of family members is also essential to the progress and speedy recovery of a patient. In most cases, patients who finished their programmes the quickest with favourable results are those whose family members were involved.

So, always ask your therapist what you can do to help with your loved one’s therapy. For example, you could initiate activities that promote recovery at home. However, you should still ensure the activities you do are approved by the therapist.

Overcoming communication disorders takes time and effort. However, you can make things easier and quicker by understanding your loved one’s needs, being patient, and helping as much as you can.

Finding a Speech Pathologist

To find the right speech pathologist Brisbane has today, you can seek referrals from your family doctor. You can also ask other families who have experienced the same situation as you. Of course, you can check out the official website of Speech Pathology Australia, which is the peak body for the profession in the country. Sure enough, they can point you to the best licensed and certified speech-language pathologists that you are looking for.

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