Communication Therapy for Adults: Activities and Assessments
When most people think of communication and language disorders, they typically think of SLP therapy for children. But we all know that language problems can happen in adult years, either by illness (for example, stroke, dementia), illness (cancer) or as a result of a fall or other accident.
Speech and Language Therapy Assessments for Adults: What You Should Know
SLP for the Adult population requires tests to determine where the problem may exist. Is it related to speech, language, cognition or a function of an issue with swallowing? With this initial assessment, it’s much easier to create a communication therapy plan that works with the patient, their family and the nursing or support staff that is helping with the patient’s recovery.
What if I wasn’t trained in communication therapy for adults in my graduate program?
As an SLP, you know we are always learning. You are always a student, researching and keeping up-to-date with CEU hours that are required for national and state licensure. In addition, you should consider becoming certified in areas such as Vital Stim or FEES. Through these courses, you’ll soon learn how to work with any patient population, from adult to pediatric.
What SLP resources are available?
Many clinicians try and incorporate the patient’s natural environment into their therapy. A great way to do so is to find great apps, such as Constant Therapy, a free app that helps you easily add creativity into your techniques. This app is ideal for patients recovering from stroke and TBI, or those living with aphasia, dementia and other neurological conditions. It is an ideal tool to assign homework to patients or use during SLP sessions with adult patients.
How do you involve family?
Getting family involved is an integral part of the process. Their ability to help their loved ones gain communication skills is an integral part of overall recovery. Not all families are receptive, so you may have to advocate for your patient. Remember, families and caregivers want to see progress, too. Help them help their loved ones by getting them involved in homework activities or by speaking with them about progress and what they can do at home to incorporate tactics into their everyday lives.
How do you get adults to engage during communication therapy?
Recovering from an illness or accident is no fun, so it may take some time for your patients to feel comfortable participating in speech language and communication therapy. Keep in mind that it may be hard for them to understand and that you’ll have to proceed slowly at first. Build rapport, educate them and explain all aspects of the therapy they are about to undertake. Use tools that make the learning process fun.
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