Better Hearing & Speech Awareness Month: Communication across the Lifespan

Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive- communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Our SLPs are certified in working with patients of all ages – from neonatal and pediatric to adolescent, adult and geriatric patients. Ailments occur at any stage of life; because of this, SLPs have the training and knowledge to work on feeding/swallowing disorders and communication impairments due to developmental delays and/or acquired diseases.

Our pediatric SLPs work with premature infants in our regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to help babies acquire and develop their feeding and swallowing skills.

At our Milestones Centers for Child Development, located at the Pomona Valley Health Centers in Claremont and Chino Hills - Grand, therapy is focused on building language skills, as well as on reinforcing comprehension skills and expanding verbal language abilities. Pediatric therapy is typically recommended to begin in patients who can only say a few words – we then work to expand their skills to expressive language and multi-word utterances so they can better communicate their wants and needs.

As children progress into the school-age years, therapy switches to academic language concerns, articulation (difficulty in production of specific sounds) as well as building social language skills to help with developing relationships.

Our adult SLPs work both in the outpatient and inpatient hospital settings. They are trained in aiding adults who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes, etc. In the inpatient setting, SLPs assess for swallow abilities to prevent aspiration pneumonia. They also help patients recover their communication abilities.

Therapy for adult outpatients focuses on rebuilding language deficits that have been acquired due to injuries such as aphasia, which is commonly seen in adults who have experienced a stroke. Patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury often present with cognitive communication disorders. These patients typically have difficulty maintaining attention to tasks, organizing thoughts, problem-solving, and struggle with short and long-term memory deficits. Our SLPs work with each patient individually to retrain their lost language functions and aid them in returning to their prior level of function.

Our team is dedicated to helping our patients develop, maintain, and regain communication across the lifespan. To learn more about SLP at PVHMC, visit our SLP webpage.

Sources:

https://www.asha.org/bhsm/

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