Speech pathology is a branch of medical science that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of speech disorders, which involves studying the structure, form, and function of the vocal cords and the diaphragm and trachea. There are four main areas of speech pathology which are pediatric speech pathology, adult speech pathology, voice disorders and congenital speech problems. In addition, there are also other specialties in speech pathology.
Pediatric speech pathology is concerned with diagnosing and treating children who have speech or language disorders and those with hearing disabilities. The areas of specialisation of this field are speech communication and articulation disorders, stuttering, fluency, voice abnormalities and swallowing problems. This branch of speech pathology also deals with disorders of the voice. In addition, they can treat voice disorders such as hoarseness, throat inflammation, laryngeal pain and vocal cord paralysis. Speech pathologists must be experts in various approaches and modalities such as speech testing, voiceprint analysis and voice analysis.
Adult speech pathology mainly deals with adults who have acquired language or speech disorders. The areas of specialisation in this field are communication disorders, stuttering, voice abnormalities and fluency. Specialists in this field have to specialise in either voice disorders or articulation disorders, and they can treat and diagnose patients who suffer from these two issues.
Voice disorders refer to problems in the structure, tone, or volume of the voice. It can be categorised into basic or speech corrective disorders. Basic speech pathology involves assessing, diagnosing, and treating those who have hoarseness, fluency, stutter, or language delay. This branch of medical science mainly deals with voice disorders and issues in speech production. It also includes noise disorder, articulation disorder and speech injury.
Regarding stuttering, this branch of speech pathology mainly deals with issues related to stuttering and fluency. The speech pattern of a child suffering from this condition is analysed, and then the treatment is administered. The treatment includes speech therapy and occupational or speech pathologist training, and it also uses occupational or speech pathologist software.
Fluency or stuttering is a speech problem that mostly affects children. Fluency can be treated or managed by improving upon fluency. But this can be quite challenging. To overcome stuttering problems, speech pathology specialists need to determine the cause of the problem. The most common causes of stuttering include inadequate fluency training, genetic factors and brain weakness. Speech evaluation in pediatric is done to monitor the progress of the child with stuttering.
Children are diagnosed as having speech pathology if the features of stuttering can be observed properly. It can be done by pediatric speech evaluation. During the evaluation, the child’s speech is evaluated through speech sounds produced by the child while they are being asked to speak or by an adult. If the evaluation indicates that there is a problem with speech production, the speech pathologist may recommend speech rehabilitation. Usually, this is the treatment used for adults.
SASHC Speech pathology Adelaide is part of the entire health care team of the child who has stuttered. The team includes the doctor, nurses and therapists. A speech evaluation in a pediatrician can be performed by a speech pathologist, a pediatrician, or any other specialised physician. Specialised training is also required for speech pathology specialists. For this reason, it is advisable to see your child’s pediatrician to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Once you have an idea about speech pathology in pediatrics, you should know what the treatment of stuttering varies. In children, there are options like speech therapy or occupational therapy, which aim at helping the child to compensate for their stuttering problems. Another option is prescription drugs like Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil, which treat depression and anxiety in children. Psychological counselling or family therapy is another option for treatment. The exact treatment will depend on the severity of the child’s stuttering.
The success rate of different treatments varies, and some of these treatments can even go so far as to solve the problem completely. For example, some behavioural researchers claim that over 50% of stutterers can improve their speaking abilities by using a combination of treatment and speech therapy. But this still leaves a large percentage unreported. It is for this reason that pediatricians often advise speech therapists not to take extreme measures and try to address the problem with less aggressive methods. Some paediatricians may also recommend other types of treatment like teaching the child speech patterns and techniques that they have acquired through their childhood.