What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?
A speech-language pathologist is someone who is trained to help people who struggle with speech and language functions.  Their job is to find strategies to overcome speech and language delays or disorders. Through the use of assessments, treatments and exercises, speech therapists can help people of all ages.

What Conditions Does a Speech-Language Pathologist Treat?
At Brant Mental Health Solutions, the speech-language pathologist is able to offer assessment and treatment for a variety of areas including:
– early communication skill development in babies and toddlers
– language comprehension and expression skills
– social communication skills
– nonverbal communication skills
– phonological awareness and other skills important for reading and spelling
– speech sound development
– pronunciation skills for adults learning English as a second-language (sometimes known as accent modification)
– stuttering

Our Speech Language Pathologist has extensive experience working with clients who have speech and/or language needs only, as well as those who have more complex needs/diagnoses (e.g. developmental delays, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Apraxia, Down Syndrome).

What Ages Does Your Speech-Language Pathologist Treat?
At Brant Mental Health Solutions, our speech language pathologist offers speech and language services to people of all ages.

Overview of the Assessment and Treatment Process
During the first visit, the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) will interview the client or their caregiver(s) to determine the primary speech and language concerns, and obtain background information that will guide the assessment and treatment of the client. The assessment and treatment will commence after the SLP receives consent from the client or caregiver(s).

Children and speech language pathology
The SLP will decide which assessments to administer to the client based on the information collected during the interview. During the assessment period, the child will participate in play activities and give verbal/gestural responses to the SLP’s requests and pictures. Some of these activities will be highly structured, whereas other activities will be less structured. The SLP will also record their observations of the client’s communication during these activities. After the assessment period is completed, the SLP will share the results of the assessments with the caregiver(s) and both parties will agree on appropriate treatment goals for the client.

During the treatment period, the SLP will design play activities and demonstrate speech and language techniques that the caregiver(s) can use to facilitate their child’s speech and language skills. The SLP will also provide take-home activities that the caregiver(s) can use to further develop their child’s speech and language skills. Treatment activities will be altered according to the child’s learning preferences and progress during therapy. The SLP will also keep progress notes to track the client’s progress.

A final report will be provided at the end of the treatment period if requested. The report will summarize the progress made during therapy, and provide recommendations for continued improvement. The therapy will end when the client has accomplished their goals or the caregiver(s) decides to end the treatment period.

Adults and speech language pathology
While the majority of my clinical work has been with children (both preschool and school-age) and adolescents, Our Speech Language Pathologist is also very interested in supporting adults experiencing communication challenges.

Some of the reasons adults seek the help of a SLP

1. DYSPHASIA AND SWALLOWING ISSUES
Certain illnesses (such as cancer and neurological issues) can affect the movement of the lip, jaw, tongue throat and larynx. When there are issues with movement in these areas, it can affect a person’s ability to chew, speak and swallow. SLPs are trained to address these types of issues.

2. STUTTERING
SLPs can help adults who experience stuttering (repeating words, having a hard time pronouncing words.) Stuttering is a speech disorder and the SLP will help adult clients overcome their fears and teach them ways to minimize stuttering

3. ACQUIRED APRAXIA
Apraxia is something that can be caused by brain disease/damage from a stroke or trauma. This speech impairment makes it hard to pronounce words correctly or struggle for the right word.

4. APHASIA
A person with aphasia may have trouble:
* Naming people
* Naming objects
* Putting words together

The person may also struggle with mixing up words, and may speak in short phrases or single words. This partial or total loss of the ability to produce/process language is the result of a brain injury.

Aphasia is a partial or total loss of the ability to produce and even process language, and this issue results from a brain injury. An adult with aphasia has difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and understanding language.

A SLP can help to re-train a person’s brain to improve their communication and comprehension skills.

Unsure about whether or not you need the help of a speech language pathologist?
At Brant Mental Health Solutions, our speech therapist offers free 15-30 minute consultations. This is an opportunity to discuss your unique situation and determine whether speech therapy services can help. For children, the free consultation involves a few activities to assess the areas of speech that need to be worked on and to build comfort with the speech therapist before beginning care. To book your free consultation call us at 519.302.2300 or email reception@brantmentalhealth.com