Did you know that May is Better Speech and Hearing Month? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) created this campaign to boost public awareness about communication disorders and make it easier for people to find out about services that are available to improve communication and overall quality of life. Getting help from a speech-language pathologist can make a big difference in the lives of people with communication disorders, but not everyone knows exactly what it is a speech pathologist is trained to do. Last week, we gave a brief overview of the different types of therapy a speech-language pathologist can provide. For the rest of Better Speech and Hearing Month, we’ll go into each of those categories in a little more depth. Today we start with how a speech therapist can help a person with their voice.
People often see a speech pathologist after being diagnosed with nodules or polyps, both of which occur as a result of damage to your vocal cords. After this kind of injury, a speech-language pathologist can provide vocal rehabilitation, teaching new, healthy habits which will promote healing and prevent future damage. This often involves using exercises and strategies to reduce muscle tension which can create strain and pressure on the vocal cords. A speech therapist can also help you learn how to breathe correctly to get the maximum amount of support as you speak and prevent vocal fatigue. They may also recommend everyday habits that will improve vocal quality like drinking more water, changing eating habits, and reducing damaging vocal behavior, like habitual throat clearing.
A speech-language pathologist can also work to modify the quality of a person’s voice. For example, if a person speaks with an overly breathy or nasal voice, a speech-language pathologist can help them understand why their voice sounds that way and provide techniques to change vocal quality.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about speech-language therapy, give me a call at (212) 308-7725 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to chat and answer any questions you may have.
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