Thursday, January 5, 2012

Down Syndrome

In reading the news and other articles, I came across this blog post. It is written by a man who has a son with Down Syndrome. I know this is a group of individuals who frequently will be seen by SLP's. And this article talks about a positive trend for these individuals.
Here is the blog post, but I will also copy/paste a few highlights.
    "If you were browsing through this week’s Target ad you may have passed right over the adorable little boy in the bright orange shirt smiling at you on page 9!  And if so, I’m glad!

     This wasn’t a “Special Clothing For Special People” catalog.  There wasn’t a call out somewhere on the page proudly proclaiming that “Target’s proud to feature a model with Down syndrome in this week’s ad!”  And they didn’t even ask him to model a shirt with the phrase, “We aren't all angels” printed on the front.
     In other words, they didn’t make a big deal out of it.  I like that."
He goes on to include 5 things Target said by not saying anything. It's a good read, recommended to everyone! I hope you take the time to read the whole article.

On the National Down Syndrome Society website, they have a section on Speech & Language Therapy. It is here. This includes the language characteristics of children and adolescents with Down syndrome, speech characteristics of the same, and what a speech-language pathologist can do.  This last section includes, "A speech-language pathologist (SLP) can provide evaluation and treatment for the speech and language difficulties experienced by children and adolescents with Down syndrome. They can help develop a comprehensive treatment plan to address all of the areas in which the child may be experiencing difficulty, including receptive and expressive language, semantics (vocabulary), syntax (grammar), pragmatics (uses of language, social and conversational skills) classroom language skills, speech, oral motor planning and oral motor strengthening. SLPs can work with families and teachers to design and implement an effective, school, home and community program to help children develop effective communication skills." The article continues with which skills are necessary for school and what parents can do to help. It is a great resource for parents and SLP's alike. Bookmark this site for future use!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Holidays and more.

I hope everyone has had Happy Holidays, including a great start to a new year!

I have just submitted one application and am hard at work on the rest. I'm really hoping to get in to graduate school for speech pathology for the fall.  I have made a list of my top choices and am excited about the prospect of moving. A large part of me would like to stay. I'm comfortable. But there is always adventure in moving!

In about five days, I'll be starting my very last class for my bachelors. It is called Basic Audiology. The course description is: Study of pure tone audiometry, including clinical masking, speech audiometry, and clinical immittance measures. Laboratory exercises are required. This is going to be fun!

In browsing online, I came across this article: I've posted some of it here:

Could your child have a problem? And if so, what should you do?
It's wise to intervene quickly. An evaluation by a certified speech-language pathologist can help determine if your child is having difficulties. Speech-language therapy is the treatment for most kids with speech and/or language disorders.

Speech Disorders and Language Disorders

A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas.
Speech disorders include:
  • Articulation disorders: difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can't understand what's being said.
  • Fluency disorders: problems such as stuttering, in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).
  • Resonance or voice disorders: problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what's being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for a child when speaking.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders: these include difficulties with drooling, eating, and swallowing.
Language disorders can be either receptive or expressive:
  • Receptive disorders: difficulties understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders: difficulty putting words together, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.

I hope this helps someone who has questions.

I also saw this video about:
This woman who gains her voice back after 30 years. See what a gift our profession can be. (This video is not of an SLP, but I imagine she has had therapy after her surgery).