Although Elise’s original preference was to work specifically with children after graduating, she has since become more interested in working with patients across the lifespan.
The sounds that kids make first and how they learn the rules of language is also very applicable to adult speech therapy, especially those who have just survived a stroke or brain injury. Issues around swallowing are also often common for people with neurological conditions and is one of those basic functions that just gets taken for granted, but really is so fundamental to quality of life.
I find neurology fascinating and have loved learning about how the specific nerve functions are responsible for moving the tongue and other parts of your mouth, and how this influences not only communication but also swallowing.
Swallowing is an area of speech pathology that many people aren’t familiar with, but it’s quite a major part of it. Some babies also may not have a strong swallowing reflex, and can have difficulty adjusting to feeding, so this is another important area where a speech pathologist can help.
Another area of interest that Elise has developed from her studies has been learning about the voice, as separate from speech.
I have worked as a singer/performer, so I found the study of voice that we covered in the speech pathology course to be really relevant to that. We did a whole subject on how voice is produced and all the things that can go wrong with that and how to remedy it. It’s made me a lot more aware of how to take care of my voice when I’m performing.