What is Speech Pathology?

A Speech Pathologist (SP) is an Allied Health Professional who assess, diagnose, and manage communication disorders including difficulties in the areas of speaking, language, reading, writing, voice, social skills, and stuttering.1 Speech Pathologists can also assess, diagnose, and manage people with a swallowing disorder. Communication and swallowing difficulties may be attributed to a number of pathologies including MND. 

How can the MND Queensland Speech Pathologist help?

Approximately 30% of people with MND are experience speech difficulties as an initial symptom of the disease (e.g., bulbar-onset)2; however approximately 70% of people with MND who experience initial symptoms of MND in their limbs (e.g., limb-onset) will also experience difficulties at some stage of disease progression.3 As MND progresses, the ability to use speech to communicate becomes increasingly difficulty, which may in turn impact on participation in activities of daily living and psychosocial wellbeing. Therefore, our SP will work with people with MND and their families to maximize communication participation in meaningful activities of daily living to help improve/maintain independence and quality of life with home, work, and community environments. If desired, our SP is able to provide education and training on a variety of alternative and augmentative communication devices, and voice banking to aid communication participation. 
 
Majority of people with MND will experience difficulties with eating and/or drinking (dysphagia) as some point during disease progression6, which has been linked to a reduced quality of life for people with MND.7 Therefore, our SP will work with people with MND to develop skills and strategies needed to adjust and adapt to any swallowing difficulties, provide advice on food and fluid consistencies, and work with dietitians on nutrition management.8
 

Who can access Speech Pathology Services from MND Queensland?

MND Speech Pathology services are available to anyone with MND in South- East Queensland. We will explore the option of regional visits in the near future if our clients request this support.

 

To book in for our Speech Pathology Service, please use the form below.

Click here to download a PDF copy of our referral form. Please email the completed form back to referrals@mndaq.org.au or fax it to 07 3123 627. Otherwise you can post it to:

Speech Pathology Service
MND Queensland
PO Box 470
INALA QLD 4077

 References

  1. Speech Pathology Australia. What is a Speech Pathologist?[Internet]. Melbourne, Victoria: Speech Pathology Australia; 2016 [cited 2021 Aug 13]. Available from: http://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au
  2. Chiò A, Mora G, Leone M, Mazzini L, Cocito D, Giordana MT, Bottacchi E, Mutani R. Early symptom progression rate is related to ALS outcome: a prospective population-based study. Neurology. 2002 Jul 9;59(1):99-103.
  3. Tomik, B., & Guiloff, R. J. (2010). Dysarthria in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a review. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, 11(1-2), 4-15.
  4. Burgos R, Bretón I, Cereda E, Desport JC, Dziewas R, Genton L, Gomes F, Jésus P, Leischker A, Muscaritoli M, Poulia KA. ESPEN guideline clinical nutrition in neurology. Clinical Nutrition. 2018 Feb 1;37(1):354-96.
  5. Tabor L, Gaziano J, Watts S, Robison R, Plowman EK. Defining swallowing-related quality of life profiles in individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dysphagia. 2016 Jun 1;31(3):376-82.
  6. Walshe M. Oropharyngeal dysphagia in neurodegenerative disease. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research. 2014 Oct 21;3(10):1265-71.

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