Caring For Your Speech and Hearing

May 2019

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Audiologists work throughout Prairie Mountain Health serving clients of all ages.


Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathologists evaluate and treat speech and language disorders. Speech is the ability to produce speech sounds using the mouth, lips, and tongue. A child may say sounds the wrong way, repeat sounds and words, or be otherwise difficult to understand. Language is the ability to use and put words together—and to understand others’ words. A child may have trouble understanding questions, following directions, or naming objects. Early speech and language treatment sets a child up for future school and social success.

Speech and language problems can also occur in adults, and can result from various causes. They include brain injury, stroke, and diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. They can also stem from breathing problems, cancers in the head and/or neck region, and voice damage.

Speech-Language Pathologists also assess and treat swallowing disorders called dysphagia. Dysphagia is another common side effect of numerous diseases in adults. A person’s ability to eat and drink is critical to maintaining good health and promoting recovery from illness. Food is also a central part of many social experiences—contributing to an enjoyable and fulfilling life. Treatment can be truly transformative to a person’s quality of life and overall health.



Audiologists diagnose, treat, and help people manage their hearing loss. In young children, hearing is critical to language, speech, and cognitive development and can impact communication and learning. Areas of development that hearing loss may affect if early intervention does not occur can include vocabulary, sentence structure, sound production and understanding speech.

In school-aged children, those who have hearing loss that is left unaddressed can have problems with:

  • academics (may include problems with language arts and vocabulary; delays in reading, spelling, math, and problem solving; and lower scores on achievement and verbal IQ tests)
  • behavior and social interactions (may include problems working in groups)
  • communication (may experience delays and/or difficulty with tasks involving language production and comprehension and/or memory).

In adults, hearing loss can affect every area of one’s life, including physical health, mental health, career success, social life, personal relationships, and overall quality of life. A serious condition on its own, it is associated with other conditions, as well, including dementia, diabetes, falls, and depression.

If you know an Audiologist or Speech-Language Pathologist, please take the time to thank them for the good work they do. If you feel you may require their services, please discuss the possibility of a referral with your family physician or contact Therapy Services at 204-578-4500.

To celebrate “Better Hearing and Speech Month” observed in May, the pediatric Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology department in Dauphin set up an informational display and donated a gift basket to the first baby born in Dauphin Regional Health Centre in the month of May.  Petra Smith (Audiologist in Dauphin) and Barb Froman (Speech-Language Pathologist in Dauphin) are featured with their donated gift basket to DRHC maternity ward.

Caring For your speech and hearing basket web   Hearing Display