Speech / Language

As our tagline states, we at Mountain Region Speech and Hearing Center are “improving communication through the ages”. That is, we help people of all ages (from birth to seniors) communicate their needs, thoughts and desires. Imagine being the parent of a child who isn’t talking or is unable to communicate clearly or effectively.

Being able to tell others our ideas, desires, needs and thoughts is what sets us apart from all other life forms. In order to do this, people need to hear adequately and speak efficiently. Our speech-language pathologists are skilled to treat infants who cannot eat properly in order to receive nutrition, children who cannot say their sounds accurately or may have trouble with comprehension, adults who have suffered a stroke or have a degenerative neurological disease, such as ALS. (This is just the tip of the iceberg of our scope of practice).

Communication and Technology

Patients come to us who are unable to verbally communicate for a variety of reasons. Maybe they have apraxia as the result of a stroke or dysarthria due to a degenerative neurological disorder (such as ALS). It could be a child who is nonverbal due to autism. Whatever the reason, these individuals need a way to communicate. This is where augmentative/assistive communication (AAC) is important. AAC can be as simple as using sign language and pictures or as high tech as keyboard-type devices like the Dynavox Xpress™ or the Aphasia Company’s Lingraphica®. These devices are like mini computers with touchscreen capability and voice output. They are set up according to the patient’s cognitive level and communication needs. Using pictures along with text, patients are able to function on a more independent level. They are able to communicate daily needs, opinions about specific topics, order in restaurants, or talk with their doctors and loved ones. These devices come in various sizes depending on the patient’s needs. For example, is he or she in a wheelchair or able to walk? Can they see well enough to touch small pictures or do they need large pictures? How will they access the device…..can they use their fingers or will they need to use eye/head movements?

If you know someone who could benefit from this type of technology, please give us a call at (423) 246-4600. You can check out devices at www.dynavoxtech.com, www.lingraphica.comwww.rmspeech.com or the Nuvo Chat Pad or iPads at your local technology stores.