Adult Speech-Language Pathology
How do speech-language pathologists (SLPs) help people?
SLPs work with people who have trouble
What causes speech, language, or swallowing problems?
Communication and swallowing problems in adults can be caused by
- head injury
- diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic sclerosis (ALS)
- breathing problems
- head and neck cancer
- vocal abuse (using the voice in the wrong way)
- severe or long-term illness
What types of disorders do SLPs treat?
- Aphasia – problems speaking, understanding, reading, writing, or using numbers due to stroke or brain injury
- Apraxia – problems controlling mouth muscles to speak clearly
- Cognitive-communication disorders – problems with memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and attention
- Dysarthria – weakness or tightness in speech muscles that cause slurred or very quiet speech that may be hard to understand
- Voice disorders – changes in how a person’s voice sounds
- Higher or lower pitch
- Too soft or too laud
- Unable to make sound
- Swallowing(Dysphagia)–problems chewing or swallowing that can lead to
- food or liquid going into the airway, called aspiration
- frequent pneumonia or respiratory infections
- less enjoyment of eating
- embarrassment when eating because of drooling or other problems
- the need for tube feeding or other ways to get nutrition
Will speech-language pathology services help?
- Yes. People who receive SLP services make improvements in all health care settings.
― 84% of people with a speech disorder (dysarthria or apraxia) made progress in the hospital or in rehab.
― 81% of people with language problems after a stroke make improvements with outpatient services.
― Over half of people in the hospital no longer needed a feeding tube after receiving swallowing treatment from an SLP.
Source: ASHA national Outcomes Measurement System (NOMS)