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The Biggest Advancements in Speech Language Pathology

Speech Language Pathology is the study, diagnosis, and treatment of human communication disorders and swallowing dysfunctions. Speech pathologists, or speech therapists, assist patients who are unable to speak clearly or properly, have communication impairments such as attention, memory, and problem-solving disorders, have such speech conditions as stuttering, an inappropriate accent, or an unsuitable pitch; have problems understanding language; and they work with those who have trouble swallowing.

Speech and language conditions are normally the result of an injury, head trauma, developmental delays, injury, emotional issues, and brain conditions.  Speech therapists work to prevent, diagnose, and rehabilitate a patient's speech and language difficulties. Over the years, there have been a number of big advancements in speech language pathology. These advancements now enhance and improve a patient's rehabilitation progression.

Technology and Communication Aids: There have been a number of technological advancements in the area of communication aids. This includes: communication software, voice amplifiers, switches, and mounting/holding devices that are used to enhance and provide an alternative method of communication. Electronic communication aids help augment or substitute verbal speech. This includes such services that synthesized or digitized speech. There are devices that help those with ALS, Autism, Stroke, Aphasia, or any other condition affecting one's speech.

Computer Technology and Speech Pathology: Computer technology has become a regular part of recent speech and language therapy techniques. There are software programs that provide audiovisual exercises to help patients in their speech therapy sessions both in the clinic and at home. There are voice, video, sound, and text software programs. Spoken language technologies include Speech Recognition (patients communicating to computers) Speech Synthesis (computers communicating to people,) and Dialogue (computers and people communicating to each other to perform a specific task.) As well, there are speech therapy CDs designed for cognitive training for such problems as attention and memory.

Advancements in Home Speech Therapy: Technology now allows patients to practice their therapy techniques at home. There are videos and television programs that promote verbal and language interaction which helps speed up the therapy progress. As well, children now have the ability to use sing along devices which makes speech and language therapy fun.