Speech Therapy

The 401 On Speech Therapy For Stroke Patients

Aphasia, or the difficulty in communicating with others particularly in expressing yourself through words, is among the possible complications of a stroke. But it isn’t a disease per se – instead, it’s a symptom of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation. Aside from difficulty in speaking, a stroke can also result in the difficulty in reading and writing, both of which are also crucial in communication.


Treatment Based on Type


Fortunately, aphasia can be treated or managed with speech therapy. Since no two people experience aphasia in exactly the same way, the treatment will be customized. Generally speaking, nonetheless, the treatment will be based on the type of aphasia exhibited by the concerned person.


There are four categories of aphasia:


  • Anomic aphasia, or amnesia aphasia, is the least severe form. The affected person has difficulty in using the right names for people, places and objects, even events, but still has the ability to communicate through spoken language.
  • Expressive aphasia involves knowing what you want to say but being unable to find the right words.
  • Receptive aphasia refers to the inability to make sense of the words, both spoken and printed.
  • Global aphasia is the most severe form since the affected person can neither speak nor understand language, much less even read and write. In this case, the damage to the brain’s language area was widespread and, in some cases, irreversible.


The speech language pathologist will likely consult with your primary care physician of the stroke victim in determining your type of aphasia. You may be unable to make the decision yourself, however, but you have to work at it so as to regain full control over your speech skills.


Types of Techniques


Speech therapists use a wide range of tools and techniques in the treatment of aphasia in stroke patients. If you are still able to make a decision, you should ideally discuss your treatment plan and suggest modifications. Just keep in mind that the speech therapist will likely have the knowledge and skills to determine which tools and techniques are best in your case.


Speech therapy is the most effective treatment for aphasia since it focuses on regaining speech and language skills. Your speech therapist will use a wide range of specific exercises and methods, too.


But your chances for a full recovery from aphasia will increase when speech therapy is combined with other techniques. These include the following:


  • Melodic intonation therapy wherein you will sing the words that you can’t speak
  • Art therapy as a way to express yourself
  • Speech perception therapy wherein pictures are associated with words
  • Group therapy and support group therapy
  • Constraint-induced language therapy


Your doctor may also prescribe medications to facilitate your recovery from aphasia.  But even the best medicines will be of little use if you aren’t active in your speech therapy program. For more information of the speech therapy for stroke patients, please contact us for free consulation.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy


Don’t Let Cluttering Affect Your Life

Cluttering, also known as stuttering, isn’t cute on an adult although we have to admit that it’s the cutest thing on a toddler. Indeed, social difficulties are among the challenges that people with cluttering issues face starting in their tween years! These issues become even more pronounced, if not more painful on many levels, during the adult years when cluttering becomes a deterrent in one’s romantic pursuits, professional advancement, and personal happiness.


But there’s neither reason nor excuse to let cluttering have adverse effects on your adult life! You should seek speech therapy as soon as possible. You will be able to correct your rapid and irregular speaking rate, among other symptoms, so that your communication skills become significantly better.


Get a Definitive Diagnosis First


Before considering any type of treatment for your speech issues, you should first get a definitive diagnosis from a speech language pathologist. While there are definitive markers for cluttering, many of its signs and symptoms can also be attributed to other speech disorders.


The speech therapist will likely need two or more sessions to make a definitive diagnosis, as well as make consultations with other professionals like neuropsychologists, psychologists, and special education teachers. Your issues may be rooted in physical and psychological causes thus the wholistic approach is often necessary.


Seek Professional Treatment


In general, treatment for cluttering addresses the underlying issues and/or the contributing factors for it, mainly on the factors that contribute to fluency. For this reason, every treatment is customized to the person, especially as adults have different priorities in treatment.


In typical cases, nonetheless, the first goal is the reduction of the speaking rate, a relatively challenging goal for a person with cluttering issues. You may, for example, respond well to a delayed auditory feedback device in timing your speech rate but another may not do so well.


You may, on the other hand, be less responsive to the speedometer approach. Basically, the speech therapist uses the speedometer analogy – if you exceed the “speed limit” in your speech rate, you will be given “speeding tickets” for doing so. You may be asked to deliberately pause when talking and assisted in finding the appropriate pauses in between words and sentences.


You and your speech therapist will also apply other appropriate techniques aside from slowing down your rate of speech. These include working on your phrasing and pausing, working on over-articulation, and shortening your sentences. Since speech starts in your brain, you will also work on your relaxation and awareness of your speech.


Even when you have reached your speaking goals, you should seriously consider maintenance speech therapy for many reasons. You can lapse back into your old patterns of speech without realizing it! You can decrease the number of therapy sessions but it’s important to continue with it until you and your speech therapist have agreed that cluttering isn’t an issue for you anymore.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy


Difficulties Associated With Childhood Apraxia Of Speech

Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) has numerous associated difficulties that make it among the more challenging speech disorders handled by speech language pathologists. But there’s also hope for children with CAS and it starts with early diagnosis and intervention.


Difficulty in Diagnosis


The first difficulty encountered by parents of children with CAS is in getting a definitive diagnosis, a difficulty also encountered by speech therapists and other medical professionals. This is due to the absence of a definitive test and/or checklist for childhood apraxia, among other reasons.


In young children, there are many disorders that can be mistaken for CAS mainly because of their similarities in signs and symptoms. CAS, for example, is often mistaken for dysarthria (i.e., poor muscle tone of the mouth) or autism, and it’s an erroneous diagnosis that will affect early intervention measures.


In fact, apraxia experts caution against an official CAS diagnosis before a child reaches three years of age. By age three, other causes for speech delays would have been ruled out and a CAS diagnosis will likely be more accurate.


Apraxia experts, nonetheless, look for red flags in young children including little to no babbling; difficulty in saying a word the same way with each try; loss of previously used words; feeding issues; absence of phonetic diversity; and limited intonation.


Even without a CAS diagnosis, however, parents should still have their child treated for speech difficulties. Speech therapy customized to the specific needs of the child is highly recommended.


Difficulty in Speech Development


Children with CAS have numerous challenges in their speech and language skills obviously.  While many of these issues seem cute and charming, especially in older babies still learning to talk, these aren’t so considering that speech is an integral part of communication. When left untreated, it can affect the child’s social, mental and emotional development in the future.


While each child with CAS has a specific set of symptoms including their onset, severity and duration, the disorder is typically associated with delayed onset of the first words; the decreased ability to form consonant and/or vowel sounds; and just a few spoken words. These symptoms usually appear between 18 and 24 months although, again, these may be attributed to other causes.


The symptoms change, too, as an affected child grows older. Between 2 and 4 years old, a child with suspected CAS can exhibit symptoms like distortions in forming sounds for vowels and consonants; errors in voicing (e.g., “bye” sounds like “pie” or vice versa); and separation of the syllables within a word or between words.


But it isn’t just speech difficulties that children with CAS have to deal with. Many of them also have physical symptoms, such as difficulty in getting their lips, tongues and jaws to their correct positions.


Once a definitive diagnosis has been made, fortunately, children with CAS have high chances of improving their speech and language skills.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy


What To Expect From the Parent-Therapist Partnership

Forming a strong partnership with your child’s speech therapist is a must if and when you want your child to truly benefit from speech therapy. Yes, we understand if it feels slightly intimidating, even overwhelming, at first but it is normal so just push through your initial feelings. Your child will need his speech therapist’s guidance and your support so your partnership will be crucial in his progress.


Here are things that you can expect and you will be expected to do in this matter.


Active Participation and Observation


As a parent, you have the responsibility to continue your child’s speech therapy at home. In fact, the best results can be seen when children learn along with their parents and siblings, especially as they spend more time at home than they do inside the speech therapist’s office.


You will then be invited into the sessions to be both an active participant and an observer. You will, for example, be asked to model chewing on a carrot stick for your child or be directed about dealing with your child’s feeding aversions. You will be guided about what and how you should do something.


In many instances, you will also be sent home with specific exercises that you and your child should work on before the next appointment. You should also closely observe the goings-on during the session so you can reinforce the learning at home.


Discussion of Your Concerns


You and your child’s speech therapist will engage in in-depth discussions about your child’s challenges and progress during the treatment course. You must be open to the speech therapist’s concerns in the same way that you should be open about yours. Your give-and-take attitude is a must, too, in establishing mutual respect – and if there’s none of it, then you should consider finding another speech therapist.


The concerns that can be discussed include your family’s priorities for the treatment, the possible adjustments in treatment based on your child’s progress, and even the cost-and-benefit analysis of certain methods. Keep in mind that while the speech therapist has the professional qualifications, the parents have the ultimate responsibility for their children. Such responsibility demands that you put your child’s welfare first and foremost during treatment.


What if there doesn’t seem to be little to no progress? You and your child’s therapist will discuss possible habits at home that act as barriers to success.  You have to be honest about your answers since these will have an impact on your child’s learning.


For example, you may be allowing your child to eat in front of the television instead of with the rest of the family at the dining table. You’re not actually helping your child in the development of his language skills since he has nobody else to talk to during mealtimes, not to mention that he may be feeling isolated.


Of course, your child’s speech therapist will not only provide professional guidance but, more importantly, moral support and encouragement.


If you think your child need a speech therapy, please contact us for further consulation. HK Hearing & Speech Center is a specialist in speech therapy.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy


Does Your Child Need Speech Therapy?

During a parent-teacher conference, your child’s teacher expressed concern about his language skills, an observation that you have also noticed at home. Due to your concerns, you bring your child for an evaluation with a certified speech language pathologist.


But will your child actually need speech therapy? Well, it depends, on the findings but here’s a speech therapy guide that will get you started on the right foot.


Reasons for Speech Therapy


First off, we want to emphasize that you and your child aren’t at fault for whatever speech-related issues he may have at present. The best thing to do is to accept the issue, seek professional help, and support your child in his journey, among other things that responsible parents will do.


Children usually require speech therapy for a wide range of reasons including but not limited to cognitive delays (e.g., intellectual development); hearing impairments; weak oral muscles; autism; congenital defects like cleft palate or cleft lip; motor planning issues; articulation problems; fluency disorders; feeding and swallowing disorders; respiratory disorders; and traumatic brain injury.


The speech language pathologist will determine the exact cause – or causes, which can happen in some cases – behind the speech issues. This is an important step in formulating the customized treatment plan for every child, a must since each case is unique. For example, your child may have autism so the speech therapy may also be made in conjunction with other treatments like occupational therapy.


There’s also the matter of effective treatment of the underlying medical condition wherein the speech issues are among its symptoms. If your child has a cleft palate, for example, surgery to resolve it will likely be necessary before speech therapy can be successful.


Early Intervention


If it’s recommended by a licensed health professional, speech therapy should begin as soon as possible. Studies have shown that early intervention – before the child is five years old, specifically – provide better outcomes.


But it doesn’t mean either than older children won’t make progress – they may progress at a slower rate but they will likely show significant improvements over time.  The slower rate of progress can partly be attributed to the presence of learned patterns that they have to change during speech therapy.


Your child’s speech therapist will use a wide range of tools and techniques to address his speech difficulties. Depending on the method used, your child may be involved in one-on-one sessions and/or in small group sessions with the speech therapist. You may or may not be allowed in these sessions although you will be updated about your child’s progress and be provided with exercises to be done at home.  If you think your child need a speech therapy, please contact us at 3100 0555 for further consulation. HK Hearing & Speech Center is a specialist in speech therapy.




HK Hearing & Speech Centre

Specialist of Hearing test & assessment,

Hearing Aid Prescription, and Speech Therapy


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HK Hearing & Speech Centre
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Tel: (852) 3100 0555
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