The speech and language pathologist assists patients with disorders of communication, cognition, and swallowing. This includes the wide variety of problems people may have in language, speech, thinking skills, fluency, voice, social skills, and hearing. The speech and language pathologist offers specialized training for patients who have issues with swallowing. The speech and language pathologist focuses on the nature of the problem, the causes, and the impact on the patient. The speech and language pathologist, in consultation with the physician, works with patients and their families to establish home exercise programs and treatment plans that are targeted towards collectively determined goals. The speech and language pathologist may utilize specialized equipment for voice and language development, for nerve stimulation or for a bedside swallow study as part of the treatment plan.
Through speech therapy, services may be focused on the following areas:
- Speech characteristic intervention.
- Auditory comprehension
- Oral expression.
- Reading comprehension.
- Written expression.
- Swallowing interventions.
- Problem solving and memory.