This year, the week of June 22nd to June 28th is designated as Deaf-Blind Awareness week in commemoration of the life of Helen Keller. This week, we’re dedicating our blog to the ways that speech-language pathologists can help deaf individuals improve their speech and communication skills.
Speech-language pathologists will often work collaboratively with a specialized teacher of the deaf to help improve the communicative abilities of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing. How the speech-language pathologist works with the child depends on several factors, including the age of the child, the level of hearing ability, and if the child had any knowledge of speech or language before hearing was lost or damaged. Some of the services a speech-language pathologist may provide to a deaf or hard-of-hearing individual include:
-Work on articulation and clarity of speech: A speech-language pathologist may help a client to better form intelligible speech by teaching mouth positioning and placement for different sounds. This sort of therapy works best if the client possesses some hearing ability and uses hearing aids or another type of amplification device.
-If a client is unable to produce speech that is intelligible to the general population, an alternative-augmentative communication device (AAC device) may be utilized. The speech-language pathologist will help the client find the device that is right for them and assist them in learning to use it.
-Some speech-language pathologists may help clients to better communicate with others by helping with the pragmatics of communication, specifically, how to best communicate with a hearing conversation partner utilizing a combination of all the tools available to the client (facial expression, sign language, speech, lip reading, etc.)
If you or a loved one are experiencing a communication disorder, contact Speech Associates of New York today to find a professional speech-language pathologist who can help you communicate to your fullest. Remember, early intervention is the key to maintaining and developing strong communication skills.