Adults

We provide services for adults in the areas of speech, language and swallowing disorders, literacy difficulties, voice and accent modification.

 

Speech Articulation

This includes problems with the accurate production of speech sounds.

Speech, language and swallowing disorders (dysarthria, aphasia, dysphagia) acquired as a result of stroke or other neurological conditions.

Speech pathologists have the skills to assist adults with neurological conditions such as stroke, head injury and Parkinson’s Disease (see LSVT in our programmes section). Speech pathologists at Talk-Key Speech Pathology understand the impact that swallowing and communication difficulties can have on a person’s everyday life activities and can provide support and advice to the individual and their family.

Dysarthria

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. The muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system may become weak, move slowly, or not move at all after a stroke or other brain injury.

Aphasia

Aphasia is a loss of language skills usually caused by stroke or other brain injury.

Aphasia can affect:

  • speaking 
  • understanding the speech of others 
  • reading 
  • writing
  • understanding numbers and money.

Dysphagia

Dysphagia is a term that refers to difficulty with eating and/or swallowing. Swallowing is mainly a fairly automatic process, one that people don’t consciously even think about unless something goes wrong.

Most people have experienced food or drink ‘going the wrong way’ and the coughing and spluttering that results.  Most of us have also occasionally felt a very hot or very cold drink as it goes down the oesophagus to the stomach.  These occasional events are considered normal, and are not associated with anything going wrong with the swallowing mechanism.

For some people, however, there can be a breakdown in their normal swallow. This can happen anywhere between the lips and the stomach, with different causes producing different signs and symptoms.  People may find they are coughing on every mouthful, having food or tablets ‘get stuck’ on their way down, find that they have difficulties chewing or swallowing or find they experience reflux or regurgitation after eating or drinking. This may happen more at a certain time of day, be related to a particular texture of food or type of medication, or a person may have no difficulties when they are well, but notice whenever they are unwell they have swallowing problems. Speech Pathologists work closely with your GP and can help with strategies and exercises to improve swallow function and can advise on modifications of food and fluid to ensure safety when eating and drinking.

Fluency

A breakdown in fluency results in the disorders known as stuttering and cluttering. Symptoms include repetition, prolongation, and blocking of sounds and syllables. This can be extremely frustrating as the person knows exactly what he/she wants to say but for that moment cannot say it. Treatment focuses on breathing, learning to use gentle onsets to sounds and techniques to decrease anxiety about speaking.

Literacy Difficulties

Many people reach adulthood without being able to read or write to an adequate level. Assessment and intervention by a speech pathologist can help.