Speech Pathology for Patients with Brain Injuries

Dr. Peter Blendohony serves as a physician with Rehabilitation Associates of the Midwest, where he oversees the care of patients undergoing speech-language services as well as physical and occupational therapy. Also a colonel in the Illinois Army National Guard, Dr. Peter Blendohony traveled to Lviv, Ukraine, in July of 2015 to present on neurological injuries.

The ability to speak involves a number of neurological processes, from the ability to produce sounds to skill in understanding language. A brain injury can interrupt any or all of these processes, and speech-language pathology is key to providing an integrated solution.

Speech-language services often begin by helping the individual to perform the basic physical functions required to form speech sounds with the mouth and throat. If cognitive challenges are involved, as they are in 75 percent of brain injury patients, the therapist may also help the patient to remember grammar and vocabulary.

Other speech-language interventions may address confused speech, which is common when damage to the cognitive processes make speech difficult for others to understand. Similar interventions may help with speech difficulties related to social comprehension, attention, and memory, all of which involve a thought component.

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