Speech pathology can help people who are wanting to communicate more effectively.
We also help to improve your communication skills and minimize the impact of communication difficulties on important areas of your life.
Speech pathology can also help people who are having trouble with swallowing food or fluids.
Aspects of Speech Pathology that we can assist with at Steps
Speech and Voice
- Refers to problems with speech sounds
- Often referred to as unclear/imprecise speech
- Speech conditions include dysarthria and verbal dyspraxia
- Voice problems can include hoarseness, loss of voice, reduced volume or lack of intonation
- Difficulties with speaking, listening/understanding, reading and writing resulting from an acquired neurological condition
- Language conditions include aphasia and cognitive-communication disorders
- Referred to as pragmatic difficulties, problems with relationships, social difficulties, or difficulties making and keeping friends
- Difficulties with non-verbal communication such as using or interpreting facial expression and body language
- Issues with non-verbal communication often occur after Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke and with some Progressive Neurological conditions
Assistive Technology for Communication
- Also referred to as Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC).
- Customised low technology devices such as a ‘Chat-book’ or high technology devices such as an eye-gaze device may assist people who have limited speech or who are non-verbal (have no speech)
- Also referred to as Dysphagia and includes difficulties such as:
- Chewing and swallowing of certain types of food or tablets
- Choking or coughing whilst drinking or eating
- Taking a long time to eat meals
- Saliva management issues -either having too much or too little saliva
How we can help you
We will work with you so that you can communicate better with people and in situations that are important to you. For example, you may want to:
- Be better understood by people
- Talk to your partner and close family members about what really matters to you
- Better enjoy group conversations and discussions
- Chat to people at work or get your point across better in meetings
- Extend your social network and plan a social calendar
- Talk to people in shops and cafes
- Be better at discussing your medical, financial and legal affairs
- Communicate more effectively over the phone
- Become more assertive communicator and be able to advocate for yourself.
At Steps, we want you to communicate with more confidence and have more satisfying interactions in your everyday life.
At Steps we will aim for you to eat and drink as safely as possible and to enjoy your meals.
What causes Communication Difficulties?
Sometimes a person experiences weakness or lack of coordination of their speech muscles which can lead to unclear or imprecise speech and swallowing difficulties.
Others can experience changes to their language abilities such as word-finding difficulties, trouble with formulating sentences or with understanding the spoken word.
Some people experience problems with planning and sequencing their ideas when talking or using and/or understanding non-verbal communication such as facial expression, body language and tone of voice. These communication challenges are the result of cognitive impairments.
What is the impact of untreated Communication Difficulties?
Trouble with communication can have a huge impact on a person’s daily life. This impact may be felt across both simple activities such as ordering a meal in a restaurant or speaking in class, or more complex tasks such as applying for and getting a job or using language to manage conflict with a family member.
The impact can have consequences for interactions and relationships at home, at work, at school or socially.
Challenges with communication can often lead people to experience social isolation and to suffer frustration, anger or embarrassment, as they struggle to communicate their needs, feelings, and ideas.
Often communication difficulties are not immediately obvious to the listener which can lead to misunderstandings or insensitive or inappropriate responses.
At Steps your speech pathologist can help you if you have problems with speech, language, or communication. Speech pathology can also help if you have problems swallowing food or drinking safely.