Ask the Audiologist

Only Kids Get Speech Therapy -- NOT !

Adults seek out Speech-Language Pathologists for training too: They may have had a stroke and lost their ability to speak. They may have hearing problems and not be able to hear the way they and others speak. They may need help reducing an accent, whether it is a regional accent or a foreign accent. They may have voice problems caused by disease or misuse of their voice. Perhaps they need to improve their public speaking abilities.

It is true that a great many children get Speech Therapy to solve a variety of developmental problems that can range from having too many ear infections (causing temporary hearing loss that prevents hearing how others speak) to auditory processing problems (issues dealing with memory, the ability to follow directions and to use reasoning skills). However, in an age where how you sound may influence the type of job you can get, many adults get training from a Speech-Language Pathologist also.

Employers frequently want their employees to speak "television-announcer American," especially those employees who must represent the company to the public. This is something that is never mentioned in the job interview, but it has a big influence on the success of that interview. Adults get accent reduction training by Speech-Language Pathologists.

If you cannot hear the way you speak or have never completely heard how others speak, you cannot be expected to speak correctly yourself. Sometimes as people's hearing gets poorer over the years, their speech also deteriorates. Speech-Language Pathologists work with these people to improve their speech, sometimes using computer-aided feedback to help them "hear" how they actually sound to others.

Some stroke victims suffer damage to the parts of their brains that control speech. Speech-Language Pathologists can work with these people to train other parts of their brain to take over the speech tasks. This process takes a lot of work by the patient and is not always successful, but the results can be quite dramatic.

Singers and baseball fans have some things in common, including misuse of their voices. They can actually damage their voice apparatus to the extent that they may have to seek medical treatment from a doctor and training from a Speech-Language Pathologist to avoid further damage and to learn how to use the damaged vocal chords that they have left.

Some people become good public speakers easily, never worrying about how they sound. However most good public speakers get professional training somewhere in their careers. A variety of books and classes exist to help your public speaking, but if you care how you sound, a Speech-Language Pathologist can help you.