EXCLUSIVE: Expert throws light on speech therapy and its role in managing communication disorders

Updated on Oct 15, 2021 03:35 AM IST  |  32.4K
Importance of speech therapy
Expert throws light on speech therapy and its role in managing communication disorders

Communication disorders can be caused due to several reasons, including injuries or traumas. It is essential that one undergoes proper treatment to address the issue. Here Speech Therapy comes into play. The clinical analysis and subsequent treatment of issues related to communication and speech is known as Speech Therapy.

There are multiple techniques that are employed to improve communication during speech therapy sessions and the usage of the techniques depends on the type of disorder the patient is suffering from. Some examples of techniques are Language Intervention Activities, Articulation Therapy, etc.

Speech and language therapists are trained to cater to patients having certain medical conditions such as issues related to the voice, impairment of hearing, acquired language disorders or issues related to swallowing such as oropharyngeal dysphagia. The above-mentioned medical issues generally arise due to the other illnesses such as stroke, brain injuries, neurological disorders, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. These issues can also arise due to certain acute conditions like respiratory dysfunction requiring tracheostomy and ventilation.

speech therapy for patients

The job role of a speech and language therapist has increased multi fold. This is due to the fact that in critical care, patients experience communication and swallowing impairments due to less sedations given to them. These functions are a good measure of quality of life of the person and an improvement in them during the recovery phase of a patient generally is a signal of encouragement.

Areas where speech therapy plays a role:

1. Rehabilitation for performing artists

2. Multiple Sclerosis Rehabilitation

3. Geriatric Rehabilitation

4. Cancer/Oncology Rehabilitation

5. Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

6. Swallowing Rehabilitation

speech therapy

Requirement of speech therapy in stroke patients:

A stroke most often results in the paralysis of one or both sides of the body. The paralysis may be temporary or permanent. Once a patient develops a stroke, multiple functions of the body get affected like memory, cognition, balance, speech or vision. The patient also has a high probability of experiencing pain and muscle spasms which are classified under complications arising post a stroke. The most common post stroke complication is the compromised ability of speech and communication among patients. According to certain medical researches, up to 40 percent of patients suffering from stroke also suffer from a loss of speech i.e., Aphasia.

speech therapist

Benefits of speech therapy in post-operative care & long-term ICU care:

1. Enables patients with normal swallowing and speech functions

2. Dysphagia management

3. Communication management of patients

4. Supporting tracheostomy weaning

About the author: Rahul Tyagi, Director - Operations, Porvoo Transition Care

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