Speech Therapy for Adults

Are you dealing with a speech impediment you feel is holding you back in life?
Do you have a stutter, accent or speech problem that makes communicating difficult?
Have you had a stroke or a brain injury?
If so, speech therapy might be the solution you have been waiting for!
Speech therapy can help you improve your communication. At Corli Hanekom Speech and Language Therapists we provide speech therapy treatment for adults to resolve speech concerns and improve quality of life. 

How we can help

Dysarthria therapy

Weakness in the muscles used for speech, which often causes slowed or slurred speech

Voice therapy

Voice therapy consists of techniques and procedures that target vocal parameters, such as vocal fold closure, pitch, volume and quality

Language therapy

Language therapy is a very broad label for many types of therapies that a speech-language pathologist (SLP or speech therapist) can provide

Dysphagia therapy (swallowing therapy)

Dysphagia is having difficulty swallowing or experiencing pain while swallowing. Also decribed/clarified as any abnormality in the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach

Apraxia therapy

A speech disorder in which the brain has difficulty coordinating the complex oral movements needed to create sounds into syllables, syllables into words and words into phrases

Aphasia therapy

A language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate.
It can occur suddenly after a stroke or head injury or develop slowly from a growing brain tumour or disease. Aphasia affects a person’s ability to express and understand written and spoken language

Stuttering therapy

Also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder — is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech

Cognition/cognitive communication therapy

Communication is a highly complex skill that forms part of what we call cognition. Cognitive-communicative disorders affect the ability to communicate by the social rules of language

Signs to look out for:

  • Inability to recognise food in the mouth
  • Inability/problem to place food in the mouth
  • Inability to control food in the mouth
  • The patient coughs before, during and after feeding
  • Chronic pneumonia
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Gurgly voice quality

Dysphagia therapy(swallowing therapy)

Dysphagia is having difficulty swallowing or experiencing pain while swallowing. It is also described/clarified as any abnormality in the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach. Some people may be completely unable to swallow or have trouble swallowing food, liquid or their own saliva.

In therapy:

  • Positioning the patient in an upright (90 degrees) position with their head supported by pillows
  • Improving the overall muscle strength, accuracy of movement, speed of movement, range of movement as well as the coordination of the patient’s oral structures
  • Swallowing techniques and manoeuvres to help the swallowing process.
  • Adapting the person’s diet, i.e. the consistency of his/her food to suit the patient’s needs
  • Determining the need for alternative feeding methods (Naso-gastric tube or PEG feeding) when it is no longer possible to consume food or when the need for supplementary feeding arises

Apraxia therapy

Apraxia is when the co-ordination of speech is affected.

Apraxia is divided into two sections:

  • Oral Apraxia
    Oral apraxia is when the person is unable to perform oral muscular activities on command even though there is no interference with muscle tone or comprehension of the instruction.  In other words, the person is not capable to move the lips or tongue on command like blowing or sticking out his/her tongue.
  • Verbal Apraxia
    Verbal apraxia is when the patient demonstrates speech disturbances due to an inability to execute purposeful movements for speech. In other words, the muscles are capable of normal functioning but faulty programming from the brain prevents positioning and sequencing of speech muscles to produce sounds.

Below are examples of verbal apraxia:

  • The inability to put sounds and syllables together in the correct order to form words
  • Inconsistent speech production errors
  • Groping for the right sound or words
  • Saying words over and over before saying it correctly
  • Inconsistent use of “prosody” (rhythm, stress and inflections of speech that are used to help express meaning)

  • Unintelligible speech

Apraxia may not only affect the person’s ability to speak, but also his/her writing or activities of daily living as it is still an action that has to be planned by the brain although the source of the action is different.

In therapy:

The goal in therapy is to help the patient communicate as effectively as possible, either verbally or by a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication and eventually lessen the frustration of ineffective communication. 

These speech problems can occur individually or in combination. If you suffered from a stroke or head injury it is best to seek a Speech and Language Therapist’s advice and input.

Speak with a Speech Therapist

Call: (27)21 943-3575

Dysarthria therapy:

Dysarthria is when the oral motor functioning of a person is affected.
The following problems may occur:

  • Muscles involved in the production of speech may be weak, e.g the lips, tongue, cheeks, nasal cavity and throat muscles
  • Speech may not be clear or intelligible
  • Breathing muscles may be weaker, affecting the patient’s ability to speak loud enough to be heard in conversation
  • A person may have difficulty controlling his/her rate of speech
  • Dysarthria can include one or a combination of difficulties across all areas involved in speech production namely: respiration (breathing), phonation (voice), articulation, resonance, and prosody (intonation)

In therapy:  

The ultimate goal in dysarthria therapy is to improve the person’s speech intelligibility by looking at all the subsystems involved in speech and addressing those areas that need improvement.

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Aphasia therapy 

Aphasia is a speech and language problem that significantly impairs the ability to communicate. These deficits vary depending on the extent and location of the damage.

Signs of Aphasia are:  

  • Inability to comprehend language
  • Inability to speak spontaneously
  • Inability to form words
  • Inability to name objects
  • Excessive use of jargon
  • Inability to repeat a phrase
  • Persistent repetition of phrases
  • Paraphasias (substituting letters, syllables or words)
  • Agrammatism (inability to speak in a grammatically correct fashion)
  • Incomplete sentences
  • Inability to read
  • Inability to write

A patient can present some, but not all of the above-mentioned symptoms. If you suffered from a stroke or a head injury it is best to seek a Speech and Language Therapist’s advice and input.

In therapy

Our aim is to help restore as much of your speech and language as possible; to help you communicate to the best of your ability and find alternative ways of communicating, such as gestures, pictures or the use of electronic devices.

 

Stuttering therapy

Stuttering is regarded as a dysfluency in speech and is usually characterised by a high frequency of stoppages or interruptions in the flow of speech.

Examples of stuttering:

  • Repetitions of words or parts of words: The the man is wawawalking
  • Prolongations of speech sounds: I am fffff…ourty years old
  • Blocks, when the mouth is positioned to say a sound and very little sound comes out
  • Interjections or fillers: I would really um um like to um um go home

In therapy:  

We target stuttering by altering the rate of speech and teaching techniques to improve the fluency of the person’s speech.

We have all (infant or elderly) had problems with our voices. People do experience times when their voices are hoarse or when sound will not come out at all! Colds, allergies, bronchitis, exposure to irritants such as ammonia or cheering for a favourite sports team can result in a loss of voice. 

In therapy:

We target voice therapy by altering the rate of speech and teaching techniques to improve the quality of the person’s speech. We also offer vocal hygiene counselling. If your voice is not what it used to be, give us a call.

Voice therapy

Voice difficulties arise when the voice quality (pitch, clarity, volume, duration of utterance) is affected and subsequently influences the individual’s ability to speak comfortably and, in some cases, intelligibly.

Voice problems can occur due to a variety of causes, though those are mainly divided into instances of voice abuse and misuse or pathological changes (surgery, other injuries, vocal nodules, laryngeal cancer or laryngeal papillomatosis (growths). However, psychogenic voice disturbances (whether hormonal or psychological trauma) are also sometimes diagnosed.

The following risk factors may be viewed as voice abuse:

  • Excessive talking
  • Professional voice-usage such as by teachers or actors
  • Shouting or screaming
  • Whispering
  • Singing for an extended amount of time without warming up the voice beforehand
  • Frequent public speaking without amplification
  • Drinking high caffeine fluids or frequently eating very strong spicy foods
  • Smoking
  • Frequent visits to smoky, dusty areas
  • Not using protection when working in dust or with chemical substances
  • Some chronic medications
  • Anything that may cause or increase the occurrence of reflux

Speech & language therapy

Adult speech and language difficulties are common and come in many forms including stuttering, voice problems, articulation problems, accent problems and pragmatic impairments (eye contact, turn taking, facial language, intonation in voice)

In therapy:  

With Speech and Language Therapy and some strategies adults can improve their speech and communication skills.

In therapy:  

Cognitive therapy comprises of specific therapy techniques and behavioural modifications. Short-term goals will be set depending on the specific difficulties of the patient as identified in the initial assessment. The ultimate long-term goal of cognitive therapy is social integration, ensuring that a patient is equipped with the required skills for social and vocational success. 

Cognition/cognitive communication therapy

Cognition is defined as mental processes and includes thought, memory, perception and problem solving. Cognitive difficulties move into the realm of Speech Therapy when it influences a person’s ability to communicate and perform socially.

Common problems:

  • Difficulty interpreting and using body language and emotion 
  • Pragmatic difficulties (social use of language)
  • Difficulty comprehending humour and figurative language 
  • Difficulty interpreting spoken and or written language 

Cognition/cognitive communication therapy

Cognition is defined as mental processes and includes thought, memory, perception and problem solving. Cognitive difficulties move into the realm of Speech Therapy when it influences a person’s ability to communicate and perform socially.

Common problems:

  • Difficulty interpreting and using body language and emotion 
  • Pragmatic difficulties (social use of language)
  • Difficulty comprehending humour and figurative language 
  • Difficulty interpreting spoken and or written language 

In therapy:  

Cognitive therapy comprises of specific therapy techniques and behavioural modifications. Short-term goals will be set depending on the specific difficulties of the patient as identified in the initial assessment. The ultimate long-term goal of cognitive therapy is social integration, ensuring that a patient is equipped with the required skills for social and vocational success. 

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Our Location

Intercare Tyger Valley

43 Old Oak Road
Tyger Valley
Cape Town

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