Speech therapy involves the diagnosis and treatment of patients with communication and/or swallowing difficulty. Speech and language disorders can be due to medical conditions such as stroke or brain injury, or due to developmental delay or congenital anomalies.
Your speech therapist has a master of arts or sciences degree in speech-language pathology, or communication sciences. She has spent several semesters working in externships in order to further her training in various types of locations: hospitals, clinics, or schools. Your speech therapist passed a national exam and was certified to practice, receiving a “Certificate of Clinical Competency,” which is why the letters after her name read, M.S., or M.A./CCC-SLP. Your speech therapist is required to continue her education in order to remain certified and licensed to practice. Some of our therapists hold specialty certifications in areas such as VitalStim and the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment Program for Parkinson patients.
Sometimes the types of difficulties experienced by patients are treated by both an occupational therapist and a speech pathologist. An occupational therapist may work with you on cognitive or thinking skills, which are important for your ability to perform functions in your daily life. Your speech therapist may also work with you in these areas; however, the speech therapist’s focus will be on communication, including reading and writing. Sometimes the speech therapist’s goals may overlap with your occupational therapist’s goals; but, in occupational therapy, the focus of treatment will be on performing “functions,” while in speech therapy the focus will be on “communication.”
“Back to normal” is a relative term, and means different things to different people. Depending on the nature of your condition requiring speech therapy services, a complete 100% recovery to normal may not be realistic. While we will assist you in developing and meeting treatment goals, our emphasis is on providing you with the skills you need to continue your recovery on your own, and to provide referrals and offer resources you may need. It is not uncommon for residual speech deficits to persist with many types of neurological traumas, whether they are strokes, craniotomies, head injuries or other types of illness. We are available to help you find counseling services in order to attain the coping strategies you might need.