Can Speech and Language Disorders Affect Your Job Opportunities?

“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”

–         Daniel Webster

The short answer to this question is, unfortunately, “yes.” Speech and language disorders can and do affect job opportunities, particularly when it comes to how you perform in a job interview.

If you have difficulty in finding the right words to say or organizing your thoughts for example, a potential employer might think you’re not equipped to handle the job or have come to the interview unprepared. An interviewer, who is unaware that you have a speech or language challenge, could form a negative opinion, come to incorrect conclusions or make judgments about your intellectual capacity.

A heavy accent could inhibit a person’s ability to make themselves understood to others. If verbal communication skills are an important part of the job he/she is seeking, a prospective employer might dismiss him/her as an inappropriate candidate. Similarly, a speech and/or language difficulty could inhibit your prospects for a promotion, if the new job requires public speaking, for example.

Fortunately every person with a speech or language disorder has the potential to improve. With the right help, the right attitude and lots of practice, new skills can be learned and new strategies can be incorporated that will have you expressing yourself more clearly.

If you think a speech or language disorder might be impacting negatively on your career opportunities. Contact S.L. Hunter & Associates to determine how the team of qualified Speech-Language Pathologists can help.

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

 

How to Help Your Loved One at Home with Their Speech and Language Therapy

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.”

–         George Washington Carver

 

Whether it’s your child who is receiving therapy for a stutter or your elderly father who is receiving speech therapy following a stroke, there are practical ways you can help at home to assist them in progressing toward their goals for improvement and to show your love and support.

With people of any age – but particularly with children, consistency is important. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s critical that the homework or techniques and strategies recommended by your loved one’s Speech-Language Pathologist be practiced and completed between each session.

Focus on your family member’s strengths and preferences when choosing practice activities and remember to be flexible. There will be days when even the preferred techniques simply won’t work. On those days, it’s best to move on and try something else.

Young or old, everyone will benefit from maintaining a positive attitude. While frustrations can emerge when acquiring new speech and language skills or reclaiming lost ones, it’s important to remember that improvement is a process. Success typically isn’t seen overnight. Achieving good results from an exercise program takes tenacity and determination and so too does achieving a positive outcome in speech and language therapy.

S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks provides a complete range of assessment and treatment services for people of all ages with challenges in speech, language and communication. Any person with such concerns is welcome to contact the clinic to set up an appointment.

The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit them online at www.slhunter.ca.

 

Technology and Its Uses in Speech-Language Pathology Therapy

“It has not been for nothing that the word has remained man’s principal toy and tool: without the meanings and values it sustains, all man’s other tools would be worthless.”

– Lewis Mumford

 

Words may indeed remain humankind’s “principal toy and tool,” but for people with speech and language disorders modern technology offers many tools that can be not only helpful, but life changing.

One common tool with such potential may be as close as your pocket or handbag – your cell phone. Today’s cell phones are more than just telephones; they’re mobile computing devices. With downloadable applications that can do everything from organizing your life, to visually modeling communication and social skills, these devices can be used as adjuncts to those receiving Speech and Language therapy for a communication disorder.

There are also other technological devices that you might expect to find at the office of your Speech-Language Pathologist. The Visi-Pitch acoustic analysis software program, can be loaded onto any computer. It provides a visual representation of what’s occurring with a client’s pitch, intonation, stress, volume, and stability of their vocalizations. It is used to provide biofeedback (auditory and visual) to the client, during exercises, to facilitate improvement in the client’s self-awareness of strategies taught in sessions and thus improve overall vocal quality.

Videostroboscopy is an assessment tool utilized to examine the functioning of an individual’s vocal cord movement during phonation. A scope with a small camera attached is gently inserted in the mouth and moved to the back of the throat where it views the vocal cords during vibratory cycles. Such images provide valuable information as to how the vocal cords are functioning and if the client is using too much vocal force or too little vocal force when speaking. The assessment process can also confirm diagnosed pathologies, following an appointment with an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor. The videostroboscopy assessment greatly assists the Speech-Language Pathologist in providing a solid, effective therapy plan.

At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, many of the latest technologies our used to better help the clients achieve success in their therapy and goal acquisition. The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit thems online at www.slhunter.ca.

 

Common Medical Conditions that Can Affect Speech and Language in Children

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, cleft lip or cleft palate, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are among the many conditions that can impact the speech and language development of children.

Every child is unique and depending on the medical condition causing the problem, so too will be the communication challenges each one experiences. One child with Autism may not communicate verbally, while another may verbalize fluently but struggle with appropriate social language skills such as asking and answering appropriate questions, staying on topic, specificity, verbal elaboration, or maintaining eye contact. A child with Down syndrome might have difficulty articulating specific sounds or sequencing multi-syllabic words, while a youngster with ADHD might lack the attention skills needed to stay on topic and take turns.

The impact of experiencing ongoing difficulties in effectively communicating thoughts and emotions can lead to frustration, social isolation, tantrums and even despair. It’s important to seek professional assistance if you see your child struggling with speech or language issues, or if you know they have a medical/developmental condition that is impacting his/her communication skills. A Speech-Language Pathologist can devise an intervention plan to improve or correct the problem.

S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, has an entire team of highly skilled Speech-Language Pathologists who can assess and treat the communication difficulties associated with a broad range of underlying developmental delays and disorders. The goal is to establish an excellent rapport with every child, so they feel relaxed, supported, safe and encouraged as they practice new skills and work toward achievable goals.

The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit them online at www.slhunter.ca.

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