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Here are Some Ways That Speech-Language Pathologists Help Patients at Shepherd Center

It’s Better Hearing and Speech Month and thus, a good time to list some things you may not know about the role of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at Shepherd Center. They:

  • Have master’s degree-level or above training and education to provide expert services in cognition, communication and swallowing. They participate in continuing education to maintain certification through the national American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
  • Help both children and adults with speech problems. SLPs help patients speak clearer, slower and louder by improving the strength and coordination of the muscles in their mouth, and improving the quality and loudness of their voice through teaching exercises and strategies.
  • Collaborate with other professionals as part of a rehabilitation treatment team. SLPs work with doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, respiratory therapists, psychologists, counselors, case managers, social workers, recreation therapists, vocational counselors, chaplains, teachers and audiologists.
  • Have expertise in swallowing disorders, or dysphagia. Sometimes, they do X-ray tests called Modified Barium Swallow Studies to determine the problems occurring when a patient swallows. SLPs teach exercises to improve swallowing function and recommend strategies to make swallowing easier and safer.
  • SLPs visit clients’ homes to complete assessments and make recommendations for providing structure, routine and safety.
  • Educate community members, such as emergency first responders, about how to help people who are having difficulty communicating their needs.

To learn more about rehabilitation programs available at Shepherd Center, click here.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.