When people think of a speech-language pathologist, they typically think of assistance with issues in communicating, whether it is a child with a stutter or a person who has just suffered a stroke and has trouble speaking. But did you know speech-language pathologists can also assist with swallowing disorders?
A professional speech-language pathologist is trained and licensed in rehabilitating individuals who have issues with swallowing. Here are just a couple of situations in which a speech-language pathologist may be called in to help:
Infant feeding disorders: Newborn babies sometimes have difficulty swallowing, especially if they are premature. If a baby appears to have difficulty feeding or swallowing, a speech-language pathologist may be called in to assess the situation and prescribe a course of action to provide nutrition to the child.
Strokes: Sometimes a stroke can damage or wipe out the portions of the brain involved in swallowing. In these cases, a speech-language pathologist may help by prescribing positions or strategies which may help the patient to swallow more safely without food or liquid entering the airway. The speech-language pathologist may also suggest restricting the patient’s diet to specific consistencies, for example, only honey-thick liquids.
Tune in next week when we will continue our series on swallowing and learn more about how speech-language pathologists can play a role in feeding and swallowing disorders.
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.