Your first visit with an S-LP (Adults)

What To Expect On Your First Visit


Your first visit with a Speech-Language Pathologist (S-LP) will focus on understanding your daily communication strengths and needs. The first step is in obtaining a thorough case history, including:

– your medical history

– the details of your communication difficulty

– your motivation to improve your current communication skills

– with whom you communicate on a regular basis (e.g., spouses, children, coworkers, etc.)

– your level of support from family and/or friends to be involved in speech-language therapy where appropriate (after all, communication is a two-way street).

The S-LP might assess a variety of areas:

– Understanding of verbal and/or written language (comprehension)

– Expression of verbal and/or written language (e.g., vocabulary, grammar, gesture use)

– Speech intelligibility

– Oral motor skills (ability to make the movements of the jaw/lips/tongue/palate needed for speech)

– Voice and resonance quality

– Fluency of speech (i.e., “stuttering”)

– Ability to use language appropriately in social interactions

– Alternative communication strategies and systems (e.g. if you are unable to speak due to laryngectomy, cerebral palsy, etc.)

– A hearing screening

Methods used for assessment may vary depending on your communication difficulties. After assessments are completed the S-LP will tell you of their results and recommendations, and determine if you would benefit from speech-language therapy services. This information is often shared with your family physician, spouse or next of kin, and any other professionals directly involved in your care, only following your consent.

Swallowing Difficulty (Dysphagia)

S-LP’s also specialize in assessing and managing swallowing disorders. If your Family Physician has concerns about difficulty swallowing, you may be referred to an S-LP who may conduct a swallow assessment with or without x-ray imaging, depending on your needs.