Speech and Audiology
Speech and Audiology unit
The Al Ghareeb Medical Center’s dedicated speech and audiology unit diagnoses and treats all conditions related to speech and hearing.
Who should go for Speech Therapy?
Infants and children:
Infants with injuries due to complications at birth, feeding and swallowing difficulties, including dysphagia. Children with mild, moderate or severe genetic disorders that adversely affect speech, language and/or cognitive development including
- Cleft palate
- Down syndrome
- DiGeorge syndrome
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Autism, including Asperger syndrome
- Developmental delay
- Feeding disorders- including oral motor deficits
- Cranial nerve damage
- Hearing loss
- Craniofacial anomalies that adversely affect speech, language and/or cognitive development
- Language delay
- Specific language impairment
- Specific difficulties in producing sounds, called articulation disorders, (including vocalic “r” and lisps)
- Pediatric traumatic brain injury
- Developmental verbal dyspraxia
Some children are eligible to receive speech therapy services, including assessment and lessons through the public school system. If not, private therapy is readily available through personal lessons with a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist or the growing field of telepractice.
Teleconferencing tools such as Skype are being used more commonly as a means to access remote locations in private therapy practice, such as in the geographically diverse southern New Zealand. More at-home or combination treatments have become readily available to address specific types of articulation disorders. The use of mobile applications in speech therapy is also growing as an avenue to bring treatment into the home.
Children and adults:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Head Injury (Traumatic brain injury)
- Hearing Loss and Impairments
- Learning Difficulties including
- Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
- Auditory Processing Disorder
- Physical Disabilities
- Speech Disorders (like Cluttering)
- Stammering, Stuttering (disfluency)
- Voice Disorders (dysphonia)
- Language delay
- Motor speech disorders (Dysarthria or Developmental Verbal Dyspraxia)
- Naming difficulties (anomia)
- Dysgraphia, agraphia
- Cognitive communication disorders
- Oncology (Ear, nose or throat cancer)
Audiometry is an accurate and reliable hearing test. It is usually administered to a person sitting in a soundproof booth wearing a set of headphones which is connected to an audiometer. Small foam insert earphones placed in the ears may also be used. The audiometer produces tones at specific frequencies and set volume levels to each ear independently. The audiologist or licensed hearing aid specialist plots the loudness, in decibels, on an audiogram. People having their hearing tested will convey that they have heard the tone by either raising a hand or pressing a button.
As the test progresses, the audiologist or hearing aid specialist, plots points on a graph where the frequency is on the x-axis and the loudness on the y-axis. Once each frequency of hearing ability is tested and plotted, the points are joined by a line so that one can see at a glance which frequencies are not being heard normally and what degree of hearing loss may be present. Normal hearing at any frequency is a sound pressure of 20 dBSPL (decibel sound pressure level) or quieter; with worsening hearing as the number increases.
This test is mainly used for the diagnosis of:
- Fluid in the middle ear
- Eustachian tube blockage
- Fixation or Dislocation of ossicles (tiny bones) in the middle ear