Archive for October, 2008

Technological Advances

October 29, 2008

In late 2007, the company “Speech Remedy” released a comprehensive speech-language cognative rehabilitation kit for adults. This advance is to solve the frustration of SLP’s due to lack of current applicable teaching materials for those over the age of 16. The kit can help people who sustain a stroke, traumatic brain injury, cranial recession, brain tumors. It can also help those with degenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, ALS, and dementia. The best outlook in the program so far says that it may also be useful to high school aged children with developmental disabilities.

“The kit targets five major areas of cognition: 1) orientation; 2) attention and scanning; 3) memory; 4) receptive and expressive language; 5) reasoning and problem solving. Research shows that with early intervention, speech-language-cognitive rehabilitation can substantially help people achieve their best possible long-term outcomes.

Speech Remedy products incorporate a multi-sensory (auditory, visual and tactile) approach which is generally recognized as the most effective treatment therapy for learning difficulties. ”

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/82192.php

How to Best Measure Outcomes in SLP Patients

October 29, 2008

From my readings, I understand that it can sometimes be very difficult to moniter and measure the progress and outcomes of an SLP patient. It is also very difficult to decide which methods to use in order to help a patient- and sometimes because learning can be a lengthy experience- SLP’s find it difficult to see which of their methods is working best.

The following is an excerpt from the book “Measuring Outcomes in Speech-language Pathology” by Carol Frattali:

“The problem could easily shift from one of “too little evidence” to another of “too much weak evidence”. We could soon suffer from the division of purpose in outcomes measurement in general, and flawed methods of data collection, analysis, and interpretation in specific. These pitfalls are all to possible in the current environment that is operating with differing, and sometimes conflicting, terminology and conceptual frameworks from which to create new knowlege.”

With so many different terminologies and so many different methods; which is the best way to track and assess the progress of difficult cases?

What Kinds of Ethical Problems?

October 29, 2008

During a study of ethics in SLP in Sydney, Australia, there were some interesting findings. Because of the lack of understanding provided to them in school about ethics, recent CSD graduates find themselves questioning the ethical practices in their institutes and with their patients.

“In health care dilemmas may arise as a professional considers ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ in the context of caring for an individual, a carer and the community… Ethical dilemmas identified by participants from different work settings incorporated a range of ethical principles. Issues surrounding roles, responsibilities and boundaries were often complicating factors in participants’ ethical stories. There were specific ethical dilemmas associated with new graduates working in hospitals (potential harm to patients versus patients’ right to make treatment decisions) and community health settings (fairness versus benefit to individual clients during case management decisions).”

http://www.chs.usyd.edu.au/conf04/submit/minipost/gx-kenny.pdf

Because they lack in ethical knowlege, it becomes even more difficult to decide what to do on an already very delicate scale. How do you decide between what could help a patient overall, and what is unethical?

Ethics in SLP

October 29, 2008

The ethics in the ground-breaking field of speech language pathology have been rigidly followed throughout history. This can be detrimental however, because when pathologists are unwilling to deviate from the traditional course of things, they may be shutting down one of the few options a patient has. Pathologists need to understand that ethics are a basic guide in professional behavior, not a concrete rule of procedure. Students that are learning how to become pathologists aren’t being given this information, and aren’t learning the proper ethics that SLP involves.

Kerri Phillips, an assistant professor in the speech department at Louisiana Tech University, has this to say on the subject: 

“As the profession of SLP continues to change and expand, members must prepare to take the next step in ethics education. Professionals need to understand ethics, values, and their relationship to the decision-making process. Examination of moral values can assist with ethical decision-making and broaden the understanding of diversity. It should be recognized that “codes of ethics” only serve as guidelines for making decisions—clinically and ethically. Professional codes of ethics are policies set forth to govern professional conduct, they are not exhaustive or all-inclusive.

There is a need for empirical studies to investigate the teaching of ethics in speech-language pathology. The profession needs to conduct quantitative studies to determine the process of educating speech-language pathologists in ethical decision-making. ”

http://www.speechpathology.com/articles/article_detail.asp?article_id=284

Could SLP’s do more for ASD’s?

October 29, 2008

Why would a speech-language pathologist be the one to specifically diagnose and treat certain autism spectrum disorders?

“Although SLPs and audiologists don’t typically diagnose autism, many practitioners are involved in interdisciplinary teams that do. Further, SLPs and audiologists play a significant role in describing and defining the communication and social interaction skills so often impaired in children with ASD. They also offer insight into differential diagnosis, helping to determine when there is more than just a communication problem.”

http://www.asha.org/about/publications/leader-online/archives/2001/understanding_ASD.htm

Audiology

October 29, 2008

What is audiology?

“Audiology” is the study of hearing and hearing related disorders. An Audiologist is a “hearing health care professional” who identifies and assesses individuals with auditory (hearing) and/or balance concerns, problems or disorders. (Re)habilitation of hearing loss can be administered by an Audiologist through fitting of hearing aids and/or Assistive Listening Devices (ALD’s).”

http://www.caritas.ab.ca/ther_new/audiology/whatis.html

This is one of the main disciplines in my program of study.

But where can you find an audiologist? According to the American Acadamy of Audiology, “audiologists work in private doctors offices, hospitals, medical centers, clinics, public and private schools, universities, rehabilitation or speech and hearing centers, health maintenance organizations and nursing homes. Audiologists work closely with government agencies, practicing physicians and hearing aid manufacturers. Audiologists conduct clinical activities with patients, are involved in hearing research, dispense hearing aids and assistive listening devices and teach at universities and medical schools.”

http://www.audiology.org/aboutaudiology/consumered/faqs/

I believe that audiologists can be found everywhere, and their study is very important. I believe that they are the primary hope for those with any sort of hearing problem.

What Kinds of CD’s?

October 28, 2008

What kind of communication disorders will a person who achieves a degree in CSD be able to understand and hopefully treat?

Dysfluency (stuttering)
Articulation deficiency
Vocal disorders
Aphasia
Delayed Language
ASD- autism spectrum disorders

http://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/commdisorder.html

All of these disorders effect the everyday lives of people; but how would life for them be without specialists in the field of communication sciences and disorders? What kinds of treatments are available? I know I keep ending with questions in my blog, but these are things I will strive to answer in future posts. If I just keep asking questions of myself and of others, maybe eventually I can unearth some meaningful answers.

What is ASD?

October 28, 2008

ASD stands for autism spectrum disorders. It is also known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Autism Spectrum Disorders “…cause severe and pervasive impairment in thinking, feeling, language, and the ability to relate to others. These disorders are usually first diagnosed in early childhood and range from a severe form, called autistic disorder, through pervasive development disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), to a much milder form, Asperger syndrome. They also include two rare disorders, Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder.”

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-pervasive-developmental-disorders/index.shtml

How can SLP’s help in this case? Could they do more in order to break the silence for these people?

What are CSDs?

October 28, 2008

What are communication sciences and disorders? 

How are they caused?

What type of college curriculum is nessessary to teach about these disorders?

These are some of the questions I will strive to answer over the course of this blog. I want to learn more about the profession I will be pursuing in order to write a compelling research paper about it.

According to the MUSC College of Health Professions:

“Communication disorders are caused by differences in biologic structure and function, as well as social, and psychological factors. For this reason, the Communication Sciences and Disorders curriculum emphasizes the scientific bases of speech, language, cognitive and swallowing disorders, as well as the medical, social and psychological context of these disorders and their treatment.

The program integrates evidence-based practice principles and strives to develop sound clinical reasoning in students with the ultimate aim of preparing speech-language pathologists who are knowledgeable and ethical interdisciplinary team members and competent, independent practitioners in culturally diverse medical, rehabilitation, and school environments.

http://www.musc.edu/chp/csd/

Because this is on the website of a respected college of communication sciences and disorders, I believe that the information is correct.

The study of communication sciences and disorders includes two disciplines, audiology and speech-language pathology. I will go into these further in other posts.

Tlog Bopic. :)

October 28, 2008

In deciding a blog topic (research paper topic), I decided to do something that interests me. I will be discussing the field of study I want to be in and the carreer I hope to eventually attain. I want to help people. I have always wanted to help people.

BUT:

1. I hate the sight/smell of blood.

2. Needles are scary.

3. I don’t like subjecting myself to an environment where there may be an over-abundance of bodily fluids. Especially if I have to come in contact with them.

So I’m pretty sure that rules out anything in the medical profession- i.e. doctor, dentist, etc.

When I met my sister-in-laws aunt, I wasn’t really thinkin of my future or what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing. Michelle (my SIL’s aunt) is deaf. She attended a school for deaf girls in Minnesota and that experience has made her very well adjusted to life as a 40 year old deaf woman.

Anyone that knows me knows that I like to talk. I talk all the time, about anything, to anyone. You may say that Michelle is blessed to be deaf (if you know me REALLY well). But Michelle and I became very close when I was in Minnesota, and she continually expressed how much she enjoyed being around me. I never understood why until my brother told me that Michelle liked me because I’m so expressive. “She loves your facial expressions. She knows how you are feeling even when your lips aren’t moving.” The rest of the time I spent there, she told people that I needed to go into aiding the hearing impaired because of my expressive nature.

Once I returned home, I was still trying to decide what to do with my life. None of the options I came up with sounded as perfect for me as something like helping those who are secluded in silence by a handicap. That is when I decided to go into the field of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I will attain the knowlege nessessary to assist stroke victims who can no longer speak, teach the deaf, and understand types of communication disorders.

I think that this is the carreer I’ve been searching for. It lacks needles, blood, and contact with bodily fluids, which is always a plus. 🙂

I think that Communication Sciences and Disorders is a good area of study for students who are good at expressing themselves and want to help people. As I have done reading though, I have found that ethics play a huge part in this field of study. Why? Do they really matter? Of course ethics in any area of study are important- but do they play such a major role in CSD? If they do, why?

Also, while speech-language pathologists and audiologists (the two main disciplines of CSD) help some people in the ‘special population’, could they be doing more? Is there a need for greater knowlege of communication disorders in the mentally handicapped? Is there any way that an increase of knowlege could increase the services that speech-language pathologists and audiologists could offer?

The purpose of this blog is to attain more information about the carreer path I have chosen, ask questions and seek out the answers, and to inform others about this type of career.