BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)– At least 20-percent of adults will experience significant difficulty in hearing, speech or language at some point in their life. The month of May is used to help bring awareness to speech therapy, including how speech language pathologists practice.
Local therapist, Cami Morris, said she teaches patients certain skills from the time they’re born to be used throughout their life.
“Mostly regarding communication and swallowing,” Morris said. “We also do cognition or cognitive linguistic therapy. So that really encompasses evaluating and treating people that might have difficulty with swallowing, maybe they have what we call Dysarthria or slurred speech or Aphasia that encompasses a language disorder.”
May is also stroke awareness month and Morris said speech therapy and stroke recovery go hand in hand.
“You can see that the patient has muscle weakness or coordination issues of the swallow so we can evaluate and treat that,” Morris said. “As well as cognitive disorders maybe if a patient had a traumatic brain injury, which we usually see in adults.”
People intubated and using a ventilator can also require the need for a speech therapist once they come off of it.
“And they can be at risk for difficulty swallowing because they can have swelling or trauma from the intubation,” Morris said. “And because of that we have a period of time where we tell the nurses and the staff don’t feed the patient we will come to see the patient within 24 hours after the tube comes out.”