Each May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association organizes Better Speech and Hearing Month in an attempt to raise public awareness about speech, hearing, and language disorders and services that are available to help improve communication. Speech and language disorders can take many forms and can limit academic achievement, social adjustment, and career advancement. In addition to helping people with communication disorders, speech-language pathologists can also help people who need to improve their communication skills for other purposes, like professional advancement. Here are just a few of the ways a speech-language pathologist can help people communicate:
- Speech: Speech problems involve how a person’s words actually sound. There are a huge number of sounds in the English language, and if a person has difficulty with even one of these, it can seriously impact communication. A speech-language pathologist can identify and target problem sounds and help head off issues in communication. A speech pathologist can also help people who habitually mumble, have unclear speech, or have a regional or non-native accent that is getting in the way of their communication.
- Language: While speech primarily concerns sounds, language disorders involve anything that causes a problem in finding the words to express a thought or understanding the words others say. Language can be affected by a number of issues including strokes and other brain injuries as well as developmental problems. Speech-language pathologists can also help people who want to learn how to develop strong professional language that gets to the point and conveys a strong, effective message.
- Voice Disorders: Like any other part of the human body, the vocal cords can be injured. A speech therapist can provide training on how to use your voice in a way that is healthy, while still coming across clear and strong. Often this includes developing stronger breath support. In addition to helping prevent strain and injury, improved breath support creates a stronger, more dynamic speaking voice that engages your listener. Speech-language pathologists can also help modify other vocal quality issues, such as an overly nasal or high-pitched voice.
If you have questions or are interested in improving your communication skills, give me a call at 212-308-7725 or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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