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Speech And Language Therapy
(SLT)

Speech and language will improve your ability to talk, to improve things like the clarity and pronunciation of your speech.  

 

Your SLT will help you learn to talk again if you are a trach patient. If you lose the ability to swallow, they will teach you techniques to swallow and, therefore, eat safely. Learning to swallow and begin to eat should help towards potentially being weaned off a feeding tube.

Click here for a list of facial exercises from my SLT.

Speech and Language Therapists support people who have a brain injury with communication, as well as eating/ drinking and swallowing difficulties that can arise from it. Speech and Language Therapy intervention aims to support recovery after a brain injury to help the individual succeed in their environment and to enable them to participate in their community. This involves assessing and treating difficulties in speech, language, and communication, as well as social interaction and executive function. This is done through informal and formal testing and dynamic and functional assessment. The findings from these assessments then feed into the individualised treatment plans for the individual.  
 

For people with communication difficulties, Speech and Language Therapy works on functional and impairment-based treatments. They may provide straggles for communication or, when appropriate, employ Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), which ranges from paper-based communication boards to higher-tech eye gaze devices. A large part of the speech and language therapist's role is also to work with the person's families, friends, and carers to educate them and adapt their communication style to assist the individual best.  
 

Speech and Language Therapists also assess and treat people who have difficulties swallowing, eating and drinking following a brain injury. This may involve objective assessment in the form of an instrumental evaluation or bedside swallowing assessments using clinical reasoning. Speech and Language Therapists then use this information to help rehab the swallow, as appropriate or help the person employ compensatory strategies. Oral care training, both for the person and carers, is another area where Speech and Language Therapists provide education and training to reduce the risk of aspiration (food/ drink/ saliva going down the wrong way into the lungs) and chest infections. 
 

The aim of Speech and Language Therapy - as with all therapies, especially in a neurorehabilitation setting - is to empower the person with the tools, education and strategies to live their life in a way that is meaningful to them. 

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