Posted 05/24/2016

MCCH Speech and Better HearingWith the nationwide launch of the new public awareness campaign “Communication Takes Care” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Murray-Calloway County Hospital’s Rehabilitation Department wants to create awareness about communication and swallowing disorders and the role Speech Therapy has in identifying and treating those disorders.

Speech disorders occur when a person is unable to produce speech sounds correctly or fluently, or has problems with their voice or resonance. Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language).

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.

Speech Therapists provide services for both pediatric and adult speech disorders, language disorders, feeding and swallowing, and cognitive impairments. They work in a variety of settings and care for patients in acute care, skilled nursing facilities, outpatient, and in inpatient rehab facilities.

Speech services begin with initial screening for communication and swallowing disorders and continue with assessment and diagnosis, consultation for the provision of advice regarding management, intervention and treatment, and provision counseling and other follow up services for these disorders. Services are provided in the following areas:

cognitive aspects of communication (e.g., attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions). 
speech (phonation, articulation, fluency, resonance, and voice) 
swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding 
sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions. 

Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45% of expert respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to treating—and oftentimes reversing—communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in isolation, poor academic or career performance, and delayed development.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a communication impairment or for more information, contact the Rehabilitation Department at 270.762.1854.

Pictured left to right: Beth McCuiston, Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) Coordinator, Erin DeLancey, SLP, Heather Dublin, and Crissann Chandler, SLP.