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SPEECH AND LANGUAGE: Two sides of one coin!

When we think of speaking, we don't always realize that there are many different processes involved in a seemingly "simple", acquired, everyday, natural act. However,  Speech-Language Pathologists, or SLPs, understand that speech and language are two sides of the same communication coin. 

One side of the coin is speech, meaning the way we use the parts of our body (mouth, tongue, etc.) to produce movements that convey sounds, words and sentences. 

The other side of the coin is language, meaning the way we use our brain to communicate our thoughts, feelings, ideas and wants. Language is made up of the following four areas:

  • understanding ('oral receptive skills')
  • talking ('oral expressive skills')
  • reading ('written receptive skills')
  • writing ('written expressive skills')

Speech-Language Pathologists, or SLPs, are trained health professionals who have extensive knowledge of speech and language disorders. People of all ages (both children and adults) come see SLPs if they have worries that they may have a speech and/or language disorder. If necessary, SLPs can also provide treatment, therapy session and strategies for instance, to help them with any difficulties they may have.

 

SWALLOWING: A skill most take for granted!

 

Swallowing is a skill most people take for granted and is an essential part of life. In general, most people do not know that Speech-Language Pathologists work in the field of swallowing, unless they need one themselves to treat a swallowing disorder (‘dysphagia’). SLPs assess people’s swallowing and provide treatment (recommending diet modifications, teaching swallowing strategies and maneuvers) to help people safely eat, drink and swallow.

Speech-Language Pathologists can help with:

  • Speech delays and disorders including articulation, phonology, and motor speech disorders.
  • Language delays and disorders, including expression and comprehension in oral and non-verbal contexts.
  • Fluency disorders, including stuttering.
  • Voice and resonance disorders.
  • Swallowing and feeding disorders in adults, children, and infants.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders including social communication skills, reasoning, problem solving and executive functions.
  • Pre-literacy and literacy skills including phonological awareness, decoding, reading comprehension and writing.
  • Communication and swallowing disorders related to other issues. For example, hearing loss, traumatic brain injury, dementia, developmental, intellectual or genetic disorders and neurological impairments. 

 

Hearing: More than just your ears!

When we think of hearing, our thoughts go straight to our ears and our ability to hear sound. However, hearing involves much more than just the health of you ears and includes your brain and the neuronal connections between your ears and the areas of your brain that are important for hearing and listening. 

 

Audiologists are trained health professionals who have extensive knowledge of hearing, balance and auditory disorders. People of all ages visit audiologists to have their hearing checked, find out if they have a hearing or balance disorder and get treatment for their hearing or balance difficulties.

 

Audiologists can help with:

  • Hearing disorders in infants, children and adults.
  • Amplification such as hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
  • Auditory processing disorders: issues with how the brain processes sound.
  • Tinnitus: noise or ringing in the ears.
  • Hyperacusis and Misophonia: sensitivities to particular sounds.
  • Balance disorders including dizziness or vertigo caused by Ménières disease, ear infections and trauma to the skull.

Find a Speech-Language Pathologist or Audiologist