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More to Speech Therapy Than Proper Pronunciation

Posted by Brian Spence on Oct 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Inhaler, Speech Therapy, Allied HealthYou may have heard of Speech and Language Pathology, but did you know that speech therapists are trained to handle many more disorders than just proper pronunciation and stutters?

Not only can they help with language, but also with difficulties in eating, swallowing and the function of the mouth.

  1. Problems arising from throat and neck cancer can leave someone with side effects after chemo, radiation or surgery that interfere with eating as well as speaking and vocal dysfunction.

  2. Smoking and tobacco use is a major factor in head and throat disorders.

  3. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, also known as COPD afflicts 11 million Americans and is the third leading cause of death in our country.

These respiratory impaired people often suffer from restricted air flow that limits the ability to speak. They can find relief with a speech pathologist to improve their vocal communication. One such person is Rick Marshall, who turned to the speech therapists at Rome Memorial Hospital in Rome, New York.

Rick was embarrassed and frustrated because he didn't have enough breath to support his voice. He strained his neck and throat muscles in an effort to be heard. His voice was hoarse and week without adequate air flow, and his forcing his throat muscles to work beyond their capacity only made it worse.

Speech and language pathologist Megan Breeze began to work with Rick to improve his vocal skills. Trying to talk was tiring Rick out and he began speaking less, which naturally limited communication with those around him, especially his family.

Teaching Rick to breathe more effectively, to conserve his breath and pace his words more carefully greatly increased his speech. Along with this, Megan employed laryngeal massage to move the larynx and open up his vocal chords that have been damaged by COPD. Rick now says that he can have a conversation with his wife. He is grateful for the help.

If you want more information on this and related topics, visit the Healthcare section of our blog.


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