Speech Therapy: Beyond Words

Morgan_Enright_Speech Therapy052420190_croppedBlog.jpg
Morgan Enright has been a Speech-Language Pathologist at Upland Hills Health since the fall of 2017. She works with inpatients, outpatients, residents in our Nursing and Rehab Center, and Home Care patients.

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month.

Speech-language pathologists, or speech therapists, work on a variety of issues with both adults and children. At Upland Hills Health, we work with patients at the hospital, residents in the Nursing and Rehab Center, patients via our Home Care department, children and teens in local schools, and children in the Iowa County Birth to Three program.

Below is a summary of some of the issues speech-language pathologists can address in therapy.

With children:

  • Feeding and Swallowing issues: For children who were born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, safe and efficient food and liquid intake can be difficult.
  • Speech Sound Errors: This is what people usually think of when they think of speech therapy, like someone saying “war” for roar. Some sound errors are typical as a child is learning to talk, but if sound errors persist, make your child hard to understand, or are frustrating for the child, talk to your primary care physician about seeing a speech-language pathologist.
  • Stuttering: Again, this is typical for a short period of time. However, if stuttering persists or is noticed by and frustrating for the child, talk to your primary care physician.
  • “Late Talkers”: Children that have few to no words by the age of two may benefit from a speech evaluation.
  • Various speech, language, and/or swallowing delays can result from prematurity, developmental delays, autism, hearing loss, neurological conditions, and/or genetic conditions.

With adults:

  • Stroke and Brain Injury: Effects of these may include “tip of the tongue” speech, slurred speech, or swallowing problems. Weakness on one side of the body caused by a stroke can cause difficulty enunciating words and/or difficulty drinking from a cup or chewing your food.
  • Parkinson’s Disease: A common effect of PD is soft or slurred speech. Stay tuned for more information coming about specialized Parkinson’s treatment coming to UHH!
  • Voice Deficits: A hoarse or raspy voice or a voice without sufficient breath support can limit your participation in social interactions or at work. Let a speech-language pathologist help you learn to use your voice more efficiently.

A large part of a speech-language pathologist’s job is working with not only the patient, but the entire family. They often provide exercises for patients to work on at home, recommendations for managing frustrations and struggles, and referrals to other specialists when needed. The way that families respond to and support various issues described above can have a large impact on a patient’s success with therapy.

The first step in seeking speech-language pathology services is to speak to your primary physician about getting an order. If you are in need of a primary physician or advanced practitioner, you can view Upland Hills Health family medicine here.