Ways which we assist
We offer a range of services to adult clients to assist with their communicative difficulties including:
- Voice - vocal disorders / difficulty with voice quality (hoarse, breathy, strained)
- Language - difficulty with the production and/or comprehension of spoken and/or written language resulting from neurological impairment or brain injury
- Fluency - stuttering and fluency of speech where sounds, syllables or words may be repeated or “stuck”
- Articulation - the accurate production of speech sounds
- Literacy - reading, writing and phonological awareness skills
- Dyspraxia - difficulty with planning and co-coordinating mouth movements for clear speech
- Dysarthria - unclear speech due to problems in muscle strength or co-ordination. This is not a language problem. Speech may sound slurred or mumbled.
- Dysphagia - difficulties with eating, drinking and/or swallowing
Inservices to Nursing Homes/Assisted Care Facilities:
Leaps & Bounds Speech Pathologists run inservices for staff who work with clients with Dysphagia (difficulty with swallowing).
Call us today on 4942 2480 (Charlestown) or 9433 7171 (East Maitland) if you would like us to present an inservice at your facility.
Inservices to Teachers/Educational Professionals:
Leaps & Bounds Speech Pathology presents workshops to teachers and educational professionals. These include workshops in the areas of Vocal Care (in which teachers can learn the best way to care for their voice with long-term vocal hygiene and safe voice techniques) and Autism in the Classroom. We can provide presentations for specific subjects of your choice.
Call us today on 49422 480 to present a workshop at your school or educational facility.
Home, Nursing Home and Group Home Visits:
We conduct home, nursing home or group home visits for clients who have had strokes or have disabilities and find it difficult to access the clinic. Due to our specialised training in PROMPT (a system that provides input to the muscles of speech by touch and pressure), we have significant success with adult clients with speech issues such as dyspraxia and dysarthria. We also work on setting up AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) systems when needed.
Call us today on 4942 2480 (Charlestown) or 4933 7171 (East Maitland) if you would like our help.
Can I claim money back?
Our Speech Pathologists are registered providers for most Private Health Funds. Clients should check their rebate entitlements with their fund.
We are also registered with Medicare to provide services under the Team Care Arrangement Plan (Chronic Disease Management) - previously called EPC, and we are registered providers for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Please speak to your GP, Speech Pathologist or medical specialist for more information.
Dysphasia is the breakdown in the understanding and/or use of language, be it spoken, written or gestural language. This usually occurs as a result of a stroke. The rate of recovery is greatest in the first three months, but may continue at a slower rate for several years.
Nearly all people with dysphasia have some degree of difficulty in understanding, but this may be only mild. Often comprehension is better than expression.
Tips to Help the Person with Dysphasia to Understand:
- Never underestimate a person’s comprehension.
Do not make comments in the patient’s presence that he is not meant to hear.
- Eliminate distractions eg, TV or radio.
People with dysphasia are often distractible and have difficulty concentrating in a noisy room.
Understanding is easier when there are fewer people talking.
- Talk in short, clear sentences.
Slow down your speech so the patient will have time to take in each idea as you go along.
Give directions one at a time. Use gesture as a reinforcement.
- When speaking to the person with dysphasia, keep in full view so he can see your face and observe your facial expressions.
Do not exaggerate your speech or facial expression.
- Try to speak about an event, object or person in the present situation. Use simple words and phrases; name objects clearly as you handle them, eg, “Here’s your jumper”, when putting it on the patient.
- Fatigue and emotional upset adversely affect the person with dysphasia’s comprehension and expression.
He will understand and remember new information better when he is fresh and in quiet surroundings.
- Do not assume too quickly that the patient has understood. You may need to repeat what you said, but phrase it a little differently.
- There is no need to raise your voice unless you know the patient has a hearing impairment.
The person who has expressive dysphasia may be unable to say anything, or may just have difficulty in finding a few words.
Tips to Help the Person with Dysphasia To Communicate:
- Encourage the patient to communicate in any way he can, even if it is only a nod of the head.
• Encourage him to use gestures, eg, “Show me what you want”.
• Encourage him to point to pictures or objects which might give you a clue.
- If the patient is unable to express himself, frame questions so that they can be answered with “Yes/No” or equivalent gestures. Be aware of the patient’s possible confusion of “Yes/No”.
- Do not hurry a person with dysphasia. Give him plenty of time to respond. Do not interrupt him by offering all kinds of words or sentences that can only contribute to his confusion.
- Discourage jargon (utterance that has no meaning).
Let the person know that you did not understand. Get him to try again, using gesture or some other meaningful communication.
- Do not disregard word attempts that are almost correct eg, “shirt” for “jumper”.
- Talk in short, clear sentences about what you are doing while performing daily activities, eg, “Here is your drink”.
Do not ask the patient to repeat the word if he is unable to do so, but encourage all attempts.
- Do not speak for the person unless it is absolutely necessary.
Do not ask a question of someone else when the patient can answer for themself.
- Encourage use of social expressions like “Hello”, “How are you?” “Good-bye”, “I’m fine” and other automatic phrases.
- Allow patients to make some mistakes.
Accept and encourage speech attempts. Often dysphasic people will withdraw from speaking situations because of embarrassment and frustration.
Dysarthria is unclear speech due to problems in muscle strength or co-ordination. This is not a language problem. Speech may sound slurred or mumbled.
Tips for Helping a Person with Dysarthria:
- If the patient has slurred speech (i.e, dysarthria due to weakness in the muscles of the face, lips and tongue) you can help make speech clearer by reminding him to:
• Take a good breath before speaking.
• Speak slowly, one word at a time, making all sounds as clear as possible.
- Be honest with the patient.
If you do not understand what is being said, tell the patient and encourage him to try again, or use alternative communication systems such as writing or a letter board.
- If dribbling is a problem, make sure there are plenty of tissues available.
Encourage the patient to keep his lips closed and to swallow more frequently. Try to reduce the patient’s embarrassment by not making an issue of dribbling.