Never Assume that Nothing Can Be Done to Help with Speech or Language Disorders

“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.”

–         Jack Penn

Canadians are getting older. Statistics Canada tells us that seniors now represent the fastest growing segment of the population in this country. Unfortunately, statistics also indicate that some six to twelve percent of people will experience speech, language or voice difficulties in their senior years.

Developing communication problems as a result of accident, disease or disability as one ages can be a frustrating, disheartening experience. A brain injury can lead to thinking and memory problems. A stroke might result in difficulty speaking or understanding. Respiratory illness can cause voice problems, while Alzheimer’s disease, neurological disorders and even the effects of medication can all contribute to various types and degrees of communication disorders.

But there is always hope! People should never assume that nothing can be done to help with speech or language difficulties. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly skilled professionals trained in helping people of all ages with communication-related challenges. Through one-on-one consultations, assessments and treatment plans – which can be arranged in a variety of settings – trained clinicians can help seniors who are struggling with communication disorders to set realistic goals for improvement and then work alongside them and their family members to make progress towards achieving those goals.

If you – or someone you know – struggles in frustration over difficulties with communication, don’t despair. Consider having an assessment performed at S.L. Hunter & Associates to determine how 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

Never Assume that Nothing Can Be Done to Help with Speech or Language Disorders

Never Assume that Nothing Can Be Done to Help with Speech or Language Disorders

“One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.”

–         Jack Penn

Canadians are getting older. Statistics Canada tells us that seniors now represent the fastest growing segment of the population in this country. Unfortunately, statistics also indicate that some six to twelve percent of people will experience speech, language or voice difficulties in their senior years.

Developing communication problems as a result of accident, disease or disability as one ages can be a frustrating, disheartening experience. A brain injury can lead to thinking and memory problems. A stroke might result in difficulty speaking or understanding. Respiratory illness can cause voice problems, while Alzheimer’s disease, neurological disorders and even the effects of medication can all contribute to various types and degrees of communication disorders.

But there is always hope! People should never assume that nothing can be done to help with speech or language difficulties. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly skilled professionals trained in helping people of all ages with communication-related challenges. Through one-on-one consultations, assessments and treatment plans – which can be arranged in a variety of settings – trained clinicians can help seniors who are struggling with communication disorders to set realistic goals for improvement and then work alongside them and their family members to make progress towards achieving those goals.

If you – or someone you know – struggles in frustration over difficulties with communication, don’t despair. Consider having an assessment performed at S.L. Hunter & Associates to determine how 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

What causes a child to have a speech or language disorder?

“The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today.”

Margaret Mead

No parent likes to watch his or her child struggle. And when the child is struggling to communicate, it’s reasonable to wonder “Why?”

While there is not one specific cause than can be attributed to all communication disorders, an estimated four percent of Canadian preschoolers experience significant challenges in this area.

Communication disorders in children typically fall into one of the following categories:

  • speech or articulation disorders, which occur when the child cannot correctly produce one or more sounds – using a ‘w’ for an ‘r’ for example;
  • voice disorders, including difficulties in producing appropriate pitch, volume and clarity;
  • language difficulties, such as delayed vocabulary development; and
  • fluency problems, like stuttering.

Such problems could stem from something as simple as other languages being spoken in the home (thus delaying the child’s acquisition of vocabulary), to strength or range of motion in the child’s jaw, tongue and lips (inhibiting their ability to form certain sounds), to other coexisting conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and Down syndrome, which can lead to developmental delays.

But whatever the cause it’s important to know that help is available and early intervention can be key. If you suspect your child has a speech or language disorder, don’t assume they’ll outgrow it. Communication disorders can impact a child’s self-confidence and learning. Contact a Speech-Language Pathologist in your area to arrange for an assessment.

S.L. Hunter & Associates provides assessment and treatment for children in their development of speech, language and communication. Any parent with concerns in these areas is welcome to contact the clinic to set up an appointment. We are here 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.

 

How do I know if I need speech therapy?

It was the German poet, author and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who observed, “If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.”

Male or female, young or old, we all know what it is to want to be known, to use our words well, to communicate our mind’s innermost thoughts, opinions and feelings so that we might be understood.

The ability to communicate has been called the most vital of human skills. Unfortunately, countless obstacles to effective communication can arise over the course of a lifetime. Speech, language and voice difficulties can be caused by illness or disease, stroke, head injury, neurological disorders, even the side effects of medication and the natural course of aging.

Fortunately, help is available. Speech-Language Pathologists (sometimes referred to as speech pathologists or speech therapists) are highly trained to provide assessment, treatment and follow-up for a variety of communication disorders.

If you – or someone you know – struggles to communicate, take heart, because you’re not alone. Communication disorders can develop at any age. According to the Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists and Audiologists, one out of every ten Canadians lives with a serious communication disorder. If you have difficulty with pronunciation, producing or using speech, or simply making yourself understood and understanding others, if you have a voice problem, a stammer, or experience challenges with eating, chewing or swallowing, you might benefit from speech therapy.

S.L. Hunter & Associates has an entire team of highly skilled, duly qualified and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants who can help. We provide individual and group services to children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings (in-clinic, home, school, community or the workplace).

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 some common swallowing problems?

Being able to swallow our saliva or food is something that many of us take for granted. It is something that we do constantly and is a necessity if we are going to live a healthy life. What we don’t realize is what it takes for us to be able to perform what we consider a simple action. The action of many muscles and nerves in good working order are required to execute a swallowing action.

Problems occur when something interferes with the swallowing process. There are many conditions that can cause this. Swallowing disorders are serious and when the problem occurs help should be sought immediately.

The medical term for difficulty in swallowing is dysphagia and is more common than many may realize. Although there are several causes for swallowing difficulties, one of the most common is the aftermath of a stroke. Added to the list of causes is brain trauma from an injury or from diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Sometimes individuals who are taking some types of medications can end up with a swallowing disorder as a side effect of the drug.

Swallowing disorders can be categorized by the area affected during the swallowing process. For example, problems can occur in the mouth, throat, esophagus or any combination.

There are some very effective treatments that can be implemented for swallowing disorders and many times individuals who are suffering with this problem don’t realize that help is available that can really improve their quality of life.

Here at S.L. Hunter we assess and treat a variety of swallowing disorders that may be evident in any age group. If you suspect that you or someone you love may have a swallowing disorder, 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.