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Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) at Decatur Memorial Hospital assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults. They also provide education to patients, caregivers and the general public regarding prevention of these disorders. SLPs also hold additional credentials which enable them to provide speech and language services to children ages 0-3 years via the Early Intervention Program.

  • Speech disorders occur when a person has difficulty producing speech sounds correctly or fluently (e.g., stuttering is a form of dysfluency) or has problems with his or her voice or resonance.
  • Language disorders occur when a person has trouble understanding others (receptive language), or sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings (expressive language). Language disorders may be spoken or written and may involve the form, content, and/or use of language in functional and socially appropriate ways.
  • Social communication disorders occur when a person has trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. These disorders may include problems with communicating for social purposes (e.g., greeting, commenting, asking questions), talking in different ways to suit the listener and setting, and following rules for conversation and story-telling. Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social communication problems. Social communication disorders are also found individuals with other conditions, such as traumatic brain injury.
  • Cognitive-communication disorders include problems organizing thoughts, paying attention, remembering, planning, and/or problem-solving. These disorders usually happen as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or dementia, although they can be congenital.
  • Swallowing disorders (dysphagia) are feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may follow an illness, surgery, stroke, or injury.

To learn more about our Speech-Language Pathology services, please call the Rehabilitation Department at 217-876-2600.

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