Speech and Language
Date Posted: 23.03.2012
The Role of the Speech and Language Therapist in the
Management of Patients with a Tracheostomy
1. The Speech and Language Therapist assesses, diagnoses and manages feeding/swallowing difficulties which may arise in the child with a tracheostomy. Occasionally, trachy placement can interfere with the physiology of the swallow, or quite often these children may have a feeding or swallowing problem pre-tracheostomy placement, which needs to be managed.
2. The Speech and Language Therapist also assesses, diagnoses and treats speech, language and voice disorders which may arise within this population. A child who is medically compromised or who spends lengthy periods of time in hospital is at risk of communication delay and needs appropriate intervention. A tracheostomy inhibits voice production so these children need alternative methods of communication such as a speaking valve or sign language.
Lastly, a child with a history of tracheostomy may experience voice difficulties post decannulation which will need to be managed jointly by the ENT Consultant and the Speech and Language Therapist.
Source : TagIreland.com