Standing up for speech therapy . . .

The funniest story I have ever read about speech therapy has to be “Go Carolina” by David Sedaris in his collection of short stories, Me Talk Pretty One Day.  In it, he recalls his childhood visits to the school speech therapist to correct his lisp.  If you haven’t read this book or anything by David Sedaris, go to your local public library this weekend and borrow any of his books.  If you can’t wait to get to the library, listen to a snippet of Sedaris here.

Back to speech therapy and speech therapists, who are actually called Speech Language Pathologists, which has to be the longest, least descriptive job title I’ve ever come across.  But really, what term would accurately describe the work that SLPs do?  Aside from the aforementioned correction of articulation, they help people manage stutters, work with those with muscle difficulties (apraxia) and neuro-communicative injuries (aphasia).  They even assess and assist those with swallowing difficulties.

So aside from their well-known work with elementary students, SLPs also perform invaluable service to adults who have suffered tramautic brain injuries and strokes.  Much of this service in Ontario is arranged through local Community Care Access Centres.  Unfortunately, these services are being slashed.  Bob Hepburn of the Toronto Star has written an excellent article on this situation.  Read it, copy and paste the URL and send it to your local MPP and ask what they think of these cuts (find your MPP’s email address here).

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