May Is Better Hearing and Speech Month

Published: April 15, 2014

Individuals can have their ability to speak and/or communicate affected as they age. People that have had a stroke, a tumor, or a brain injury may be affected. People that have been diagnosed with dementia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, or other progressive neurological disorders also may have difficulty with speech or communication. Language disorders include:

  • Struggles to say sounds or words
  • Repetition of words or parts of words
  • Speaks in short, fragmented phrases
  • Struggles with using words and understanding others
  • Difficulty imitating speech sounds
  • Inconsistent errors
  • Slow rate of speech
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow or rapid rate of speech, often with a mumbling quality

Following are some ways that we can improve communication with these individuals:

  • Reduce background noises that may be distracting - turn off the radio or television, close the door, or move to a quieter place
  • Stick to a topic – avoid quick shifts from topic to topic
  • Keep sentences and questions short
  • Allow extra time for responding

Speech language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, help patients with speech and communication disorders. Treatments may include improving mouth, tongue and lip movements and strength. Slowing the rate of speech and improving breath support may be addressed. The therapist may also teach the individual how to slow his rate of speech or to improve specific language skills.

The speech therapy staff at Passavant Community can help you improve your ability to speak, understand and communicate. They are available on an outpatient basis by calling (724) 452-3492 or via home health services by calling (877) 862-6659.

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