Communication

Communication is a basic human right. Communication is a broad term and includes so many aspects. Hastings Macleay Speech Pathology works with all aspects of communication and will tailor therapy to meet your needs.

A communication impairment might mean that there is a difficulty in one or more of the following areas:

Social Communication

Social Communication

Every time we interact with somebody we are intrinsically using lots of skills to make that interaction a success, for example sharing a conversation back and forth with someone we know well, or sharing a conversation with someone new, sharing eye contact, lining up to order at a cafe, saying hello or goodbye, telling someone when we are happy or unhappy, or advocating for ourselves when we need change or want something to stop. Difficulties with social communication can negatively impact a person’s ability to participate in life’s daily activities, whether that is school or work, recreational activities like sport, home life, or carrying out tasks like buying items at the shops. Speech Pathologists can help to identify areas of social activities that are challenging and provide support to learn about social rituals, non-verbal communication, and social skills to make life easier in these settings.

Voice

Voice

Voice disorders are termed Dysphonia. Voice is using the vocal cords to produce speech. This is how our voice sounds when we speak and it gives us all an individual sound. Difficulties might include:

  • Hoarse, croaky, breathy, strained or strangled sounding voice

  • Weakness in the voice and not able to project self

  • Higher or lower in pitch than voices of the same age or gender

  • Feeling of a tired throat/voice after speaking

  • Unusual pitch variation or poor voice flexibility

  • A need to cough/throat clear after a period of speaking

  • A tight scratchy voice and quality

Anyone can have a voice problem, however people who are at higher risk are:

 

  • Women – More likely to have a voice problem than men

  • Professional voice users e.g. Teachers, auctioneers, media presenters, singers

Fact - 28% of teachers take time off each year due to voice problems

 

Voice disorders are diagnosed through examination by an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist and Speech Pathologist.

Chalkboard with Different Languages

Language

Language is the exchange of words usually in the form of spoken or written. It involves reading, writing, speaking, listening. Difficulties in this area might include:

  • Impairments in spoken or written language (expression) e.g. difficulties finding the right word to say or inability to write down sentences/words

  • Impairments in understanding language (comprehension) e.g. difficulties following instructions or comprehending written material

  • Difficulty with social aspects of communication such as turn taking and staying on topic

HM Speech works with children and adults who have difficulties with language and address this in a functional and client-centred way. Caregivers play a very important role in someone's language development so we provide education so that people can understand how to help others with their goals.

Stacking Blocks

Speech

An impairment with speech is called Dysarthria. Speech is the way we make sounds when we are speaking so that people understand what is being said. Difficulties with speech might include:

  • Slurred speech

  • Difficulty pronouncing certain sounds

  • Controlling the speed of speech

  • Nasal sounding speech

  • Running out of breath when speaking

  • Controlling saliva / dribbling

  • Monotone speech

 

This can arise as a result of:

  • Stroke

  • Brain injury

  • Brain tumours

  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

  • Muscular dystrophy

  • Myasthenia Gravis

  • Parkinson’s disease

King on Card

Fluency

Commonly known as stuttering. This can effect anyone. There are treatment approaches to assist adults and children with stuttering. These approaches are highly evidence based and our clinicians will work with you and your carers to help achieve your goals.

Parkinson's disease

Here at HM Speech, our clinicians are trained in the most up to date and efficacious programs proven to improve speech, voice and swallowing in Parkinson's disease and other neurological conditions. Click read more to find out all of the information on these programs.

Smiling Senior Couple

Hanen Programs for Parents

Father and Daughter

Hastings Macleay Speech Pathology have Hanen Certified speech pathologists who have received special training to provide evidence based programs for parents of young children (up to 5 years of age) who have language delays or parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These programs provide parents with strategies to help improve their children’s communication skills.