Speech therapy focuses on the evaluation and treatment of speech, language, cognition and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech-language therapists are professionals who are specially qualified to work with people who have speech, language, hearing and/or swallowing disorders. Thus their work in real life encompasses wider aspects of human communication.
In children, there are a wide variety of diseases that speech therapists help to alleviate, such as cerebral palsy or speech disorders. In adults, they can help treat patients who have suffered a stroke and might need reeducation on how to perform tasks such as speaking or swallowing. In addition, they help patients suffering from progressive neurological conditions (such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease), certain cancers or mental health issues.
A speech therapist evaluates components of speech including:
- Cognitive communication
Speech therapists are able to provide the following services in the home care setting:
- Oral motor exercises/therapy
- Non-speech oral motor exercises/therapy/treatments
- Rehabilitative swallowing exercises
- Articulation therapy
- Language intervention
- Alternative communication methods