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Communication

When most people think about speech-language pathologists (S-LPs) they probably think of someone who helps children who stutter or have a lisp. Although it’s true that S-LPs do help with those issues, what S-LPs are trained to do is much broader.


ENHANCING "NORMAL" COMMUNICATION:

  • ​Training parents to learn "tricks of the trade" (special approaches S-LPs use with their own children) to maximize their young child's speech and language development. Strong early speech and language development lays the foundation for future academic and social success.
  • ​Helping adults who speak multiple languages (English is not primary) to enhance pronunciation in order to improve confidence and success when speaking.
  • ​Teaching older adults about communication health as one ages and why it is an important (but often overlook) aspect to overall health.


ADDRESSING SPEECH, LANGUAGE & COMMUNICATION DISORDERS​:
​Connect Speech can help address communication health concerns impacting you or your family member in any of the following areas:


  • Speech disorders: occur across all ages and are diagnosed when a person has ongoing difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of disfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.​ Also includes motor speech disorders.
    • Apraxia (pronounced A-PRAX-SIA) is a speech programming disorder which makes words and sentences sound jumbled or meaningless. 
    • Dysarthria (pronounced DIS-AR-THREE-AH) is a group of speech disorders resulting from paralysis, weakness, or lack of coordination of the muscles required for speech. 
    • *Articulation disorders may appear when a child is learning to speak and continues to be difficult to understand at a certain age. In adults, articulation disorders result from neurological damage such as stroke or head injury and are termed motor speech disorder. 
    • Voice disorders: include inappropriate pitch, loudness, quality (hoarseness) or total voice loss. May result from damage to the vocal cords due to surgery, misuse of the voice, (overuse, yelling or singing) disease (cancer of the larynx), or other conditions (cleft palate, cerebral palsy or hearing impairment). Resonance issues relate to how "nasal" one sounds.
    • Fluency disorders: (stuttering) a disruption in the normal flow of rhythm of speech. Characteristics may include repetition of sounds, syllables, words or phrases, hesitations, prolongations or interjections. Behaviours can vary from person to person


  • Language disorders: occur across all ages and are diagnosed when a person has ongoing trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Language disorders may be spoken or written and may involve the form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and/or use (pragmatics) of language in functional and socially appropriate ways.
    • Example: ​Aphasia (pronounced A-FAY-SHA) is a language disorder due to brain damage or disease resulting in difficulty in formulating, expressing, and /or understanding language.


  • Social communication disorders: occur when a person has ongoing trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems (a) communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and (c) following rules for conversation and story-telling.  Social communication disorders are also found in individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury and autism spectrum disorder.


  • Cognitive-communication disorders: include ongoing problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital (born with it).


​Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Speech-Language & Audiology Canada, 2018