Speech and Language Pathology

Speech and Language Pathology 30July

Did you know… there is a lot more than just speech when thinking about Speech Pathology?

Speech Language Pathologists, or SLP’s as they are commonly known, are expert members of the rehabilitation team. SLP’s have a very broad scope of practice and can treat more than just speech. 

As the name states, SLPs treat disorders of speech and language. Whether it is trying to find the right word or being better understood, a speech pathologist can diagnose and treat communication problems. They also treat individuals with cognitive dysfunction. These are problems with safety, memory, problem solving or thought organization. Individuals with cognitive dysfunction may have difficulty with activities of daily living such as maintaining a calendar, managing personal finances and remembering safety strategies to prevent falls. If cognition is continually declining, they will work with family and caregivers to develop strategies that foster both independence and safety, thus helping to keep a person in their own home or with loved ones for as long as possible.

If someone has difficulty swallowing food and liquid or even their own saliva, SLP’s can assess and provide treatment. 

A Modified Barium Swallow Study is a type of swallowing X-ray that might be ordered by a patient’s physician. SLP’s can perform this test in conjunction with a radiologist to determine the cause of a swallowing problem and possible treatment options.

SLP’s work to improve voice disorders that may be caused by disorders such as Parkinson’s, neurodegenerative diseases, or head and neck cancers. They provide treatments that help to improve vocal strength and speech clarity.

Speech therapy is more than just the way someone speaks.  It’s about understanding the brain and how illness or injury has impacted one’s ability to: remember, solve problems, express themselves, comprehend language, or swallow.  If you would like more information about Speech Language Pathology, please contact Wickenburg Community Hospital Rehabilitation Services at 928-684-5529.

Michelle Tolliver, MA, CCC-SLP

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