Patients ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics sometimes require speech and swallow therapy owing to an injury or ailment suffered or a pre-existing condition. Typically, patients with speech and swallow therapy have difficulty in effective communication and nutrition intake, which can hinder their life further. Therefore, every comprehensive post-acute care rehabilitation program should incorporate effective speech and swallow therapy if the patient exhibits such deficit.
Two categories of speech and swallow therapy –
Adult speech and swallowing therapy: This is usually conducted in cases of stroke, traumatic brain injury, nerologic disorders, tumors, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), srtictures, and diverticula.
Paediatric speech and swallowing therapy: This is conducted in the most common speech issues, which are articulation and language disorders, and some swallowing issues like reflux, food aversions, tongue thrust, and dysphagia.
What does speech and swallow therapy entail?
The level of deficiencies vary from one patient to another. A thorough assessment of the patient’s condition is thus essential before a prognosis can be arrived at, which will cater to their requirements. A speech and swallowing rehab plan involves the following therapies:
- Speech production improvement
- Computer aided speech therapy
- Language therapy
- Training for fluency development
- Voice improvement
- Swallowing therapy
Who should undergo speech and swallow therapy?
A wide range of conditions and mishaps can leave a patient with weaker speech muscles and speech production structures such as larynx, rendering it difficult for them to articulate, produce speech or swallow. Patients who typically need speech and swallow therapies are:
- Traumatic brain injury patients
- Stroke patients
- Patients with old age-related speech and swallow difficulties
- Parkinson’s Disease patients
- Children with developmental delays
- Children with shuttering or other voice disorders
- Children with eating-related oral motor issues
- Patients with strictures and diverticula
A speech and swallow therapist is a highly trained medical expert who can run a thorough evaluation of the patient’s condition and arrive at the best possible treatment plan aimed at meeting the patient’s goals. Speech and swallow therapy can return to a patient skills which were once very basic and vital for them, putting them on the path of recovery and normalcy.