SALT

Speech and language therapy (SALT) provides treatment, support and care for people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. SeeAbility has an in-house team to support people in our services.

 

Communication

The speech and language therapists at SeeAbility support people with verbal and non-verbal communication through the use of a Total Communication approach.  That's communication through any means possible and includes speech, sign language, gestures, tone and pitch of voice, facial expressions, pictures, symbols and objects.

Many of the people we support are non-verbal communicators and therefore we often focus on strategies alternative to speech. They may also have a visual impairment, requiring us to adapt and develop a strategy or programme specific to each person to meet their communication and visual needs. Our speech and language therapists work closely with our rehabilitation workers to better understand how people's visual impairment impacts on their communication.

We value each person's need to communicate and it is the speech and language therapist's role to develop the most effective way to support that person, involving them and those who know them best. Good communication only exists as part of positive everyday relationships, boosting self-esteem and success. It crosses all dimensions of care, support and enablement. Without good communication people struggle to learn, achieve, make friends and interact.

 

Luke's story

SeeAbility started supporting Luke (pictured above) because he has coloboma, a genetic condition that makes his eyes sensitive to light. It quickly became apparent that communication was vital to him leading a fulfilling life. Luke has so much to say - particularly about the films and music he loves - but a condition called spastic dysarthrophonia was causing him difficulty with speech and voice production. People often underestimated his understanding and didn't give him the time to finish what he wanted to say.

Our SALT assessed Luke and arrived at the conclusion that the best treatment would be Botox injections to control the spasticity affecting his speech. The results have been dramatic, Luke is able to talk with much less effort than before. He now expresses his ideas clearly and, most importantly, can pick up the phone and speak to friends and family whenever he wants. He says:

My new voice has made me feel alive and that I can live my life to the full and enjoy every moment.

 

Sadick's story

Sadick is non-verbal communicator with a physical disability. He was unable to control his environment and his communication was restricted to the use of facial expressions.

Sadick underwent multiple assessments and we enabled him to use an Eye Gaze so he could have more control. Sadick is no longer reliant on staff to make choices on his behalf, he can do things like turn on the TV and change the channel, watching what he wants to watch, and have conversations with the people around him. Through speech and language therapy he has learned to control his environment and communicate in a new way. 

 Speech and language therapist, Katlyne, working with Sadick

 

Dysphagia

Speech and language therapists provide advice for more than just communication. We also support people who have difficulty eating, drinking and/or swallowing. Eating and drinking difficulties can occur at any time in someone’s life and there are a wide range of possible causes.

Our therapists assess someone's eating and drinking skills and may recommend modification of food and/or drink to reduce or manage their symptoms.

People who are unable to eat, drink and/or swallow effectively are at risk of coughing and choking, aspirating (food or drink going into the airway), reduced nutritional intake and dehydration; all of which can result in life-threatening illness.

We offer our staff teams training in Dysphagia awareness and the rationale for following eating and drinking guidelines. Our staff are also trained to refer to our speech and language therapists should they have any concerns.

Pauline eating safe modified food with speech and language therapist, Lesley

 

Fundraised income

Our SALT team is entirely funded by voluntary income, and any donations you can give will dramatically improve the lives of people like Luke and Sadick.

To enquire about speech and language therapy contact Lesley Thorndycraft (Advanced Speech and Language Therapist) on 01372 389 447 or email: [email protected]