What Does a Speech Pathologist Have To Do With GERD?

People who suffer from GERD will be the first to tell you that it’s a nasty affliction that creates various problems for them. GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease and is caused by acid reflux, when the stomach acids or bile back up into the esophagus. It comes with many symptoms with one of the most common being heartburn that can even spread up to a burning sensation in the throat. Some people complain of a sour taste in their mouth. The symptoms can include chest pain, sore throat or hoarseness, acid reflux, a feeling of a lump in the throat, or problems with swallowing, just to name a few.

Any of these symptoms could indicate numerous other medical conditions, and those suffering from them should not just assume its GERD. A proper medical examination must be conducted to make a proper diagnosis.

GERD demands the diagnosis and treatment provided by a medical doctor. In addition to this, the services of a speech pathologist are often very helpful if certain symptoms are present. For example, sometimes GERD creates swallowing difficulties for the individual. Some people have the unpleasant experience of feeling like food is stuck in their throat, or feel the need to be constantly clearing their throat. These are just a few of the GERD-related difficulties that a speech pathologist can help get under control.

If you are suffering from GERD or know someone that is, then you may want to suggest they have an assessment performed at S.L. Hunter to determine how our team of speech pathologists can help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

How is Your Child Developing in His/Her Speech, Language and Communication Skills?

Every parent is excited to witness their child achieve his/her developmental milestones, whether it is the first smile, first steps or first words. Children’s language and communication development begins at birth.

In the first three months of an infant’s life, he or she will begin to make sounds and react to sounds in his/her environment.

By six months of age, an infant will begin to look at the person talking to them, smile and make noises to gain attention.

At twelve months of age, so much changes. The child will be starting to say his or her first words (e.g., mama, dada, baba), waving ‘bye-bye’, understanding some simple phrases (e.g., sit down, where’s ball) and enjoying playing games.

By eighteen months of age, children begin to understand simple questions, have a vocabulary of ten or more words and use toys for pretend play.

When a child reaches the age of two, they understand a lot more than they are saying. He or she will begin to use descriptive words, two word combinations, ask questions and enjoy listening to simple stories.

Beyond the age of two, children are beginning to incorporate linguistic concepts (e.g., size, colours), plurals, action words, location concepts and pronouns into their communication. They are asking and responding to lots of different questions. Individual speech sound difficulties are also apparent now; for example, a child may say “done” for ‘sun’ or “tea” for ‘key’. The articulation of speech sounds also develops at different rates and ages for each child. Concerns should be addressed with a Speech Language Pathologist to ensure that further investigation is not warranted.

Every child develops and progresses at his or her own rate, but above are a few of the skills expected at each stage. If there is a concern with a child’s speech-language/communication development, it is best to initiate a referral or to speak with a Speech Language Pathologist. Early treatment is especially beneficial with children by preventing many of the difficulties that they could face in their later years.

S.L. Hunter provides full assessment and treatment for children in the their development of speech, language and communication. Any parent that has concerns in these areas is welcome to contact the clinic to set up an appointment.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

What is a Speech Pathologist Really All About?

Often people will hear references to professionals without really having a true understanding what the profession is all about. This is often the case with a speech pathologist, sometimes referred to as a speech-language pathologist or a speech therapist. Unless you have first hand knowledge about this profession or have had dealings with an individual who has needed the services of a speech pathologist, then it may be unclear as to the important services that they provide.

A speech pathologist’s primary job is to assess, diagnose and then treat clients who are suffering with communication disabilities. There are many people both young and old that can benefit greatly from the treatments offered by these professionals. For those having to deal with communication problems created by lisps, stuttering, articulation problems, or slurring of words, a speech pathologist is trained and equipped to help. Some people suffer with illnesses that impair their speech, such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, and they find great help with this through the treatments that the speech pathologist offers.

Victims of strokes or head trauma will sometimes end up with communication difficulties, and the implementation of speech pathology services will go a long way in furthering their recovery process. For those with swallowing disorders, one of the best steps they can take is to utilize the services that these professionals are able to provide.

S.L. Hunter has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Communication Disorders Assistants. We are ready to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

There is Help For Voice Disorders

Most of us have experienced losing our voice for a period of time, perhaps from a bout of laryngitis from overuse of the voice.

Some voice disorders can create physical discomfort such as tightness and discomfort in the throat or neck. Difficulty with talking or language communication can be part of the symptoms. Individuals that are experiencing voice disorders may suffer from a raspy voice or hoarseness.

They might find themselves frequently attempting to clear their throat, or feel a tightness when attempting to speak properly. These are just a few of the many symptoms that may be present in an individual suffering from a voice disorder. Those that are experiencing these symptoms or any change in their voice should have the cause investigated.

There are many causes of voice disorders that affect the vocal cords and to complete an extensive diagnosis demands a thorough assessment and investigation which sometimes includes the use of specialized equipment, such as the videostroboscopy. This is one of the latest pieces of equipment in medical technology that allows the vibration of the vocal cords to be seen in slow motion.

There are many exercises and small steps that can be implemented to help keep the voice in a healthy state. By using some of these types of preventative measures it reduces the chance of potential vocal problems from occurring.

S.L. Hunter combines a skilled team with the latest technology to assess and treat all types of voice disorders. We can help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates  are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

What Are Cognitive-Communication Disorders?

From time to time we have all suffered those embarrassing moments where you know what you want to say but you just can’t get it out. For those suffering with a cognitive communication disorder this may be just one of the many symptoms faced on a daily basis.

Cognitive communication disorders are an indication that there has been damage to the area of the brain that is responsible for thought processing. It can affect the individual’s ability to put their thoughts into written and spoken words– it can even affect their gestures.

The types of symptoms that occur with cognitive communication disorders vary in the way they present themselves and in their intensity. Our cognitive skills affect the way we progress in life. For children it can drastically affect their progress and learning abilities in school. For adults, cognitive function affects the way they perform in the work place, and in both cases it has a direct impact on social skills and everyday living.

Persons with fluency disorders may repeat words or forget what they are about to say. Those with articulation disorders are not able to pronounce their words correctly. Some individuals suffer with voice disorders, and included in these communication disorders are a variety of language disorders.

There are many causes of communication disorders that can include strokes, trauma to the brain, some types of diseases, tumors, neurological or birth defects, some medications, or even drug and/or alcohol abuse.

The team at S.L. Hunter & Associates is highly skilled in the treatment of cognitive communication disorders in both children and in adults and we understand the frustration and problems these disorders create in an individual’s life. If you suspect that you or someone you love may be affected by a cognitive communication disorder, our team can help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.