LEARNING TO SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF
We experience the world through our senses and use these senses to communicate. Communication allows us to learn, express ideas, participate in work or social activities and maintain relationships.
Effective communication is such an integral and instinctive part of our daily lives that it’s easy to take for granted.
However, when someone is unable to communicate effectively, however subtly, this can have a significant impact on their physical, social, emotional, vocational and financial wellbeing.
Communication can be impacted due to a variety of causes and in a variety of ways.
Communication disorders may be congenital (from birth) or acquired (through injury or illness); and they can present at any age. Some main causes include developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, autism, stroke, brain injuries, dementia, cerebral palsy and hearing loss.
Congenital or acquired disorders can affect listening, understanding, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering, using the voice, eating and swallowing; all of which can have a dramatic impact on a person’s overall quality of life.
Yet the symptoms of many communication disorders can be easily and greatly improved through Speech Pathology.
You might be surprised to learn that Speech Pathologists work within a range of six key practice areas: speech, voice, language, swallowing, fluency and multimodal communication (sign language and pictures).
Research shows that optimum results are achieved when ongoing treatment is commenced as soon as possible, once symptoms appear and/or a diagnosis is made. Speech pathology can also support other treatments recommended by referring clinicians (e.g. psychology).
This is particularly true for young children with a suspected/communication disorder, such as autism, as the brain is most malleable and receptive to learning during the first five years.
That being said, treatment can help people of all ages who are experiencing communication issues to feel more comfortable, develop meaningful relationships, become more proficient at daily tasks, express their needs & wants, share ideas, understand instructions, pick up on verbal or social cues and feel understood.
Knowing if someone you care for (or even yourself) is experiencing a communication disorder isn’t always easy, as the symptoms aren’t always ‘obvious’. Symptoms can be mild, subtle or severe and vary greatly. They may even present as other conditions (e.g. a child with mild hearing loss may present with anxiety and be referred to a psychologist), making diagnosis difficult.
Therefore, it’s important to be alert to any developmental milestones being missed or changes that relate to the senses and, if you feel that something is ‘not quite right’, seek an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
Anyone can access Speech Pathology appointments and seeking help need not be daunting.
Treatment is often fun for participants – especially children – as it can include games, conversations, reading, pictures and other activities that make communication enjoyable.
Treatment can also be conducted in a group setting, to ensure that participants are able to make important social connections with people experiencing similar issues.
Many NDIS plans also make provisions for Speech Pathology, meaning that cost does not have to be a barrier to seeking help.
If you or someone you care for needs diagnosis and treatment for a communication issue and you’re not sure where to start, Artius Health is here to help. Our team of caring, qualified and experienced Speech Pathologists can diagnose and treat a range of communication disorders.
We offer appointments for people of all ages and abilities. Face-to-face appointments are available at our Maroochydore and Gympie clinics and Telehealth appointments are available anywhere in Australia.
Pension Card and Health Care Card holders are bulk-billed and some NDIS plans may cover the cost of treatment.
We accept NDIS, DVA, WorkCover, Private Insurance & PHN referrals; although you do not have to have a referral to access this service.