Therapists work in health centres, hospitals, clinics, schools, independent practices and patients’ homes with adults and children whose symptoms are as a result of illness, accident, disability, acquired disorders or congenital/emotional problems.
General description of an Audiologist
What is an Audiologist?
Audiologists are professionals who are specialized in preventing, diagnosing and treating hearing and balance disorders for people of all ages. Audiologists provide professional and personalised services to improve person’s involvement in important activities in their lives and better quality of life.
What services do Audiologists provide?
- Hearing loss: Evaluate and treat hearing, balance and tinnitus disorders
- Hearing aids/ Assistive devices: Prescribe and fit hearing aids as well as assistive devices
- Dizziness and Balance: Evaluate and treat balance disorders
- Newborn hearing screening and testing: screen newborn infants to identify a possible hearing disorder. Diagnostic testing will confirm if a hearing loss is present and determine the kind and degree of the hearing loss
- Noise and Hearing loss prevention: implement and monitor noise prevention programs as well as train and distribute hearing protection
- Tinnitus: advise people about how to treat and cope with ringing in the ears
- Aural rehabilitation: provide therapy and training on how to use hearing aids to facilitate listening, speech and language development in children and adults
General description of a speech-language therapist
What is a Speech-Language Therapist?
Speech-Language therapists (SLTs) provide a wide range of services, mainly on an individual basis, but also as support for individuals, families, support groups and providing information to the general public. SLTs work to prevent, assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication and swallowing disorders in adults and children. Speech services begin with initial screening for communication and swallowing disorders and continue with assessment and diagnosis, consultation for the provision of advice regarding management, intervention and treatment, and provision of counselling and other follow up services for these disorders.
What services do SLTs provide?
- Cognitive aspects of communication: attention, memory, problem solving, executive functions
- Speech disorders: phonation, articulation, fluency, resonance and voice including aeromechanical components of respiration
- Language disorders: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatic/social aspects of communication, including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic and manual modalities and also language processing, preliteracy and language based literacy skills and phonological awareness.
- Swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions: infant feeding and aeromechanical events in order to refer to medical professionals
- Voice disorders: hoarseness, poor vocal volume, abnormal vocal quality.
- Sensory awareness disorders related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions
Speech, language and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes: stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delays, a cleft lip/palate, cerebral palsy or emotional issues.