Speech Pathology Week 2016

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In 2016 Speech Pathology Week is 7 – 13 August.  
We are pleased to share with you a letter from our speech pathologist:





Hi all,

For those who I haven’t met yet, my name is Narelle Baehnisch and I am the new speech pathologist (speechie) here at TDHS.

Speech Pathology Week is coming up so I thought that I would put together a blog post that provides some detail on what it is that we speech pathologists do.

The theme for Speech Pathology Week in 2016 is ‘Creating Futures!’ Communication is a basic human right that we often take for granted; more than 1.1 million Australian’s have a communication or swallowing problem that impacts on their quality of life. We aim to create futures through changing lives of Australians with these difficulties.

A speech pathologist is an allied health professional who works with people across all ages; from babies to those in palliative care.

Speech pathologists work in a wide range of settings – schools, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, kindergartens, rehabilitation centres, community health centres, private practice and mental health services.

A common misconception about speech pathologists is that we mainly work with children for lisps and stuttering. Although this is definitely true, the scope of a speech pathologists is very broad.

Speech Pathologists work in 6 main areas; they are:

  • Speech: We can help children who are hard to understand to speak with clear sounds, or help adults whose speech is slurred after a stroke.
  • Language: Includes using and understanding language in speaking, reading and writing. 20% of children across Australia receive speech therapy for language before entering primary school, and 30% of stroke survivors see a speech therapist for language therapy.
  • Voice: We can help someone who often loses their voice to use their voice in an effective and safe way. Some speech pathologists also specialise in transgender voice therapy, so that a person can learn to use their voice safely in a way that sounds female or male.
  • Swallowing: Swallowing difficulties affect 1 in 5 Australians, from babies to adults. We provide recommendations to help people swallow safely and can help reduce risks of choking and other complications.
  • Multimodal Communication: This refers to people who require a different mode of communication. From autistic children who are non-verbal, to people who have lost their speech from a stroke. Some modes of communication include gesture and sign language, picture cards and devices such as an iPad that allow participation and communication in the world around them. A speech pathologist can help individuals learn to use these different methods of communication and personalise the mode or device that suits their communicative needs.
  • Fluency (stuttering): Around 200,000 Australians are affected by stuttering. Speech pathologists can help those who stutter to speak more fluently and confidently using evidence based approaches.

Happy Speech Pathology week!





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