Daniel Webster said it best when he remarked, “If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”
Second to being alive, the ability to communicate is the most critical human function allowing for full participation in society. Few losses have a great impact than losing this ability. Negative feelings like anger, frustration, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem are common following loss of speech and language skills – even among those with minor impairments.
Being unable to express yourself or to understand the speech of others is undoubtedly a cause for lowered spirits. Many people feel isolated and alone and this loss of can be heartbreaking for the family.
One reason speech loss is so unsettling, is that it cuts you off from other people. Whether the loss is gradual or sudden,
- Friends tend to drift away,
- Family may withdraw,
- Work may become difficult if not impossible,
- Hobbies may lose their appeal,
- Simple household task may be given to others because of the inability to communicate.
These life changes can be stressful and felt in family matters, financial aspects of life and work-related activities. Further, those with communication challenges are often shut out of child-rearing, decisions affecting adult children and issues related to grandchildren.
Speech therapists serve the invisible and voiceless minority who cannot always speak for themselves, yet deserve to be treated as equitably as those with more obvious disabilities. It’s not uncommon to make modifications to a building allowing easier access for those in wheelchairs, for example; why not provide a person with a speech handicap similar accommodations? Step One is to have a speech and language evaluation.
At Fort HealthCare, we offer services every weekday at the outpatient Therapy and Sport Centers and in the hospital. Clinicians have experience working with all age groups and encourage family members to contact their physician to request a speech evaluation. Call us for yourself or on behalf of someone you care about. Let us help keep you talking!