Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy Services:

Speech and language therapists (SLTs) are allied health professionals. They work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors. There are around 14,000 practising SLTs in the UK working in a wide variety of settings.

More details can be found on the following link:

http://www.rcslt.org/governments/docs/what_is_slt_factsheet

After successfully completing a programme of exercise provided by the Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Team, my dad has now been referred to the Speech and Language Therapy Team.

Since my dads heart attack and diagnosis of Parkinson’s, he noticed a marked deterioration in his voice and speech, which has been worrying.  At first I thought it was just part of his recovery from the heart attack, which left him very weak and fragile, but as his health improved with medication and therapy, his speech was still noticeably impaired.

Having found out more about Parkinson’s I now understand this is a symptom of the disease, as is the difficulties with swallowing and can be helped with therapy.

The Speech and Language Therapy Team assess, diagnose and treat communication, voice and swallowing impairments enabling patients to achieve their maximum potential.

The team provide a service to patients in hospital and in the community, visiting patients in their own homes (as in my dads case)

Further details of this service can be found on the following link:

http://www.5boroughspartnership.nhs.uk/speech-therapy-knowsley/

The Initial Assessment:

Dad’s first assessment took place in his own home with the speech and language therapist and consisted of a number of tasks for him to take part in.  First of all he was asked to do some deep breathing tasks to relax him before he was instructed to shout as loud as he could (dad found this a bit strange as it had been so long since he even had a reason to shout and, to be honest, I can’t remember the last time I heard my dad shout) but I believe this gave him some reassurance that his voice was in there somewhere 🙂

The therapist will continue to do some one to one work with him over the next few weeks before referring him to a therapy group which will continue with his rehabilitation.

My dad has been a member of the Irish Guards Choir for over 10 years and loved taking part in the fundraising events, concerts, weddings etc. . .

But after his heart attack he has only managed to attend a few practice nights, partly due to his slow recovery and trying to rebuild his confidence, but mostly due to his worry on the change in his voice and speech.

The choir has been a big part of his life since he lost my mum 10 years ago and I hope one day to see him join them once again. . .

 

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