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Could Speech Language Pathology be Your Missing Puzzle Piece?

When 38-year-old mom experiencing Post-Concussion Syndrome after a car accident met with Taryn Barlow (Speech Language Pathologist, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Certified Brain Injury Specialist), she explained the day-to-day effect of the accident, and it was emotional for both her and Taryn. She had done all the right things following her accident; taken rest and sought out care, however, her every day demands as a mom, wife, sister, daughter and friend were pushing her to the edge. Taryn provided her with “Circle of LifeÓ” assessment, which was initially overwhelming. With Taryn’s help they were able identify which “primary foods” she was missing and how each of the 12 areas are a part of nourishing her brain and how they could help her heal. She now had the information, motivation and support from Taryn who understands her cognitive endurance, deficits and fatigue challenges that came in consequence of her car accident.

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© 2003, 2013 Integrative Nutrition, Inc. | Reprinted with permission

As you read on you will learn more about Speech Language Pathology, Cognitive Health Coaching and Taryn.

What is Speech Language Pathology?

Speech Language Pathology aims to help “prevent, assess, diagnoses, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication and swallowing disorders”. A Speech-language pathologist (SLP) are experts in communication, as they can help individuals who have difficulties with pronunciation, articulation, speech fluency and even the sound of our voice. On top of this they help individuals who have cognitive communication issues such as problems surrounding attention and problem solving. Furthermore, SLPs aid in literacy and social communication, which involves how to speak to different individuals, how close to stand to someone and how to take turns when conversating.

Issues with speech and language are experienced by variety of individuals, including those who have suffered concussions, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and strokes.

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Photo sourced from: https://www.cvmc.org/blog/rehabilitation-therapy/role-speech-language-pathologist

Why may TBI survivors need Speech Language Pathology?

TBIs can result in damages in the brain that interfere with one’s speech, language, thinking and swallowing abilities. These issues can affect the survivor’s ability to excel at school or work and even everyday life. These issues can also make it difficult for survivors to be understood by others because of weak speech muscles or troubles controlling these muscles. Additionally, their capability of understanding others or finding the right words can be impaired.

Facing these obstacles every day can be frustrating and discouraging, as survivors try to adequately express themselves. Speech Language Pathology can help.

How does Speech Language Pathology help?

In collaboration with a team of professionals, including your primary care provider, a Speech Language Pathologist can be a resource to test speech, language and thinking skills. Starting from the early stages of your recovery Speech Language Pathology can help with the following:

  • Making speech clearer
  • Improving ability to express thoughts
  • Improve your initial understanding of things while you read
  • Aid in your attention and focus
  • Improve memory
  • Ameliorate problem-solving skills
  • Address any issues with social skills or cues
  • Possibly improve ways to swallow safely (if this is required)

The goal of SLP is to help you “think about thinking” which is known as metacognition. Metacognition is the awareness of one’s own thought processes and understanding of the patterns behind them. They aim to help you process speech and how to communication through all that think with an array of strategies.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is also a method that can be used during the interim when individuals struggle with being able to communicate efficiently or speak clearly. AAC is the process of finding other ways for individuals to communication besides talking. The Augmentative aspect means to add to someone’s speech and the Alternative aspect means something to be used as an alternative to speech. Here are a few methods that are frequently used:

  • Gestures
  • Writing
  • Drawing
  • Point to pictures or written words
  • Spelling words by pointing to letters
  • Using a tablet to help communicate
  • Using an automated voice through a speech generating device

An example of a tablet being used to point out pictures or words to help an individual communication.

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Photo sourced from: https://www.collaborativecorner.org/blog/aacawarenessmonth

Interested in learning more?

Our upcoming webinar on November 17, 2021, is featuring Taryn Barlow. She is a Speech-language Pathologist, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. She has a passion of working with adults who have had a neurological event such as stroke, brain injury and concussion, along with many more. She has her own virtual practice, called The Well Brain, that approaches care with a unique combination of her knowledge in cognition and brain health lifestyle balance.

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Taryn will be speaking about her practice, her expertise, and her love for supporting people through their medical healing journeys, including TBI survivors. Be sure to register for the webinar soon. Registration can be found here.

How can Power of Patients Help?

After sustaining a TBI, the symptoms you begin to experience can be overwhelming. Sallie® aims to ease this feeling, by being an incredibly easy to use, and free, symptom tracking dashboard. Using the dashboard at the beginning of one’s recovery can help them to identify symptoms and triggers. Our robust data collection approach includes a multitude of speech symptoms for our users to track.

Picture2-1Here are the Speech pathology conditions that we prompt our users to track when they begin their registration for Sallie®. As you can see, we also provide users the option to freely type in any additional speech troubles that they may be experiencing, allowing for a personalized symptom tracking dashboard, unique to each and every one of our patients.

Identifying that you may be experiencing difficulties with expression, conversational understanding and/or communication could be the first step towards recognizing your possible need to introduce Speech Language Pathology into your recovery plan.

Take hold of your brain injury recovery today! Register here for Sallie®.