How to Maximize the Benefits of My Speech-Language Therapy

”Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

– Rudyard Kipling

If you’re seeing a Speech-Language Pathologist for help in overcoming a communication disorder, there are several things you can do to ensure you receive the maximum possible benefit from your intervention plan.

First, maintain a positive attitude. If you’ve lived with a speech or language problem for years, recognize that improvement isn’t likely to happen overnight. Success will come, but it will come as part of a process and the more you maintain an optimistic outlook and follow the recommendations of your Speech-Language Pathologist, the better your outcome will likely be. So work hard, but remain upbeat and be patient.

Second, keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during intervention sessions, but be prepared to try things that might – at first glance – seem silly or uncomfortable. Every person is different and no two people respond to therapeutic techniques and strategies in exactly the same way. Your therapist will likely want to try a number of different things. Relax. Trust your clinician, and try their recommendations.

Third, practice, practice, practice! The things you learn in each session with your Speech-Language Pathologist need to be incorporated into your day-to-day life. Practice your new skills and strategies in different situations and environments and with different people. If your Speech-Language Pathologist gives you home programming materials, do your best to complete them prior to the next session.

Finally, come to your appointments well rested, prepared to listen, to learn and to work. Engaging in speech and language therapy can be challenging at times, but the communication improvement you’ll experience will be your greatest reward.

At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, the clinicians are optimistic, caring professionals who work in a variety of settings (clinic, home, hospital, nursing homes, etc.) to help people learn new communication techniques and reclaim lost ones. Any person with concerns in these areas is welcome to contact the clinic to arrange for an assessment.

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

 

My First Appointment – What to Expect

Whether you’ve come to the realization on your own that you need help with your speech, language or other communications skills, or whether your doctor or other specialist has referred you to a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist, you’ve taken the first step in helping yourself or a loved one to improve communication skills.

Before you head out the door to meet your Speech-Language Pathologist for the first time, it can be helpful to jot down any questions or specific issues you want to be sure get raised for discussion. Take your notes along with you to be certain those items don’t get overlooked.

Your first appointment may include both informal and formal assessments. If you’ve suffered an acquired brain injury in the past, this assessment could take anywhere from two to five hours. If you’re struggling with an articulation or language disorder, the assessment will more likely range from 45 to 90 minutes in length.

During this or any appointment, be sure to ask any questions you might have or express any concerns.

The Speech-Language Pathologist will gather background information about the nature of the communication disorder you’re experiencing and then use a combination of formal standardized assessments and informal evaluation procedures to analyze you or your family member’s communication skills.

You might leave your first consultation having been assigned some homework exercises, or new techniques to practice before you return for your next appointment. You’ll give yourself the best chance of improvement in the shortest time possible if you follow through on such recommendations.

Whatever the nature of your communication challenge, S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks has an entire team of highly skilled and innovative Speech-Language Pathologists and Communicative Disorders Assistants who are prepared to help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks 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 Speech and Language Therapy Can Help with Hoarseness

Perhaps you’re a teacher who realizes that the persistent hoarseness you’ve been experiencing in your voice has become chronic. Or maybe you work in sales, sing in a band or choir and your voice has taken on a raspy quality that remains from day-to-day.

Hoarseness is typically caused by irritation of – or injury/strain to – the vocal cords or can be caused by diagnosed pathology, such as “vocal nodules”. It can result from overuse, abuse, and misuse, or from an underlying medical condition such as an upper respiratory tract infection, GERD, or chronic acid reflux.

If you’re experiencing persistent hoarseness, it’s a good idea to see your family doctor who may prescribe medication or refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor to rule out any serious medical pathologies. The ENT doctor may, in turn, recommend that you see a Speech-Language Pathologist for voice therapy.

If the problem is related to abuse, over-use or incorrect use of the voice, a Speech-Language Pathologist can help by providing and practicing safe vocal habits and hygiene and teaching strategies to reduce the strain. They can instruct you to use your voice correctly, bringing the voice to the front of the face (forward tone) for example, rather than pushing it from the throat where it will likely irritate your already compromised vocal cords. They can provide healthy vocal hygiene tips, make recommendations for diet modifications, discuss vocal behaviors to avoid, and teach diaphragmatic breathing exercises that can help you control your vocal productions, heal, and prevent further damage.

At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, the team of Speech-Language Pathologists is equipped with up-to-date technology, resources and information to facilitate those who suffer from vocal hoarseness and strain.

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

 

Taking Control of Your Speech and Language Disorder

”Communication works for those who work at it.”

– John Powell

Perhaps you’ve lived with an annoying stutter or a mild lisp your entire life. It’s always been there and you’ve resigned yourself to the thought that it may always be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The first step in taking control of your disorder is reaching out to a professional for help.

Speech-Language Pathologists are highly trained professionals who work with people of all ages to assess and treat a wide variety of speech and language disorders. Trained in such areas as fluency, reading and writing, articulation and language, cognitive-communication, and voice disorders, Speech-Language Pathologists work in a variety of settings, to help children and adults regain or develop successful communication skills.

Following an assessment, a Speech-Language Pathologist will devise an intervention plan for you that may include one-on-one sessions or group sessions, to learn new skills and strategies. Often home programming is a part of this process to assist in incorporating those skills and strategies into your day-to-day life.

It’s important to make the effort to practice. Learning new abilities or reclaiming old ones is a process that won’t happen overnight, but as you are diligent to use the techniques you’ve learned in each therapy session, improvement will come.

At S.L. Hunter SpeechWorks, the team of Speech-Language Pathologists are friendly, caring and highly skilled people who work to help clients overcome a wide range of speech and language disorders. Assessments are completed to gain an accurate representation of the individual’s communication skills using formal diagnostic tools or through informal measures. Every intervention session is different, based on the unique needs of the individual.

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