Although Speech-Language Therapy encompasses a wide field of treatment, LOURENS Speech Therapy has a specific (although not exclusive) focus on the evaluation and treatment of speech, language and swallowing disorders related to neurological impairments. We work in both the paediatric and the adult populations.

As Speech Therapists we are well aware of how incredibly important communication is to a person and his independent functioning. But as therapists working in the field of rehabilitation we have also come to appreciate the need for a Speech Therapist to have a degree of understanding of the functioning of the rest of the body, as well as to be able to work within a team context where our therapy goals are often dependent and/or intertwined with those of the physiotherapist, occupational therapist and psychologist. With this in mind, our speech therapists are all trained in the BOBATH concept with a holistic team approach to patient treatment.

Our clinical treatment areas encompasses the following domains

Paediatric Population

Speech & Communication difficulties due to

Feeding difficulties due to

Premature Birth

When a baby is born prematurely, several function areas are often under-developed. Some of these underdeveloped areas include breathing capacity and coordination of muscle movements.

On a sensory level (the taking in of information received from the senses: visual, auditory, tactile, smelling, taste) the baby’s system isn’t quite ready for the overload of information that the world around them throws at them. They are easily over-stimulated with resulting anxiety to their little systems.

Any of the above-named factors could contribute to the premature baby not being able to suck and/or feed effectively.

The Speech Therapist works together with the nursing staff to establish functional sucking and feeding, while also assisting the mother and father to understand, support and enjoy their little baby during this unexpected season.

Neurological involvement (e.g. birth asphyxia)

When a baby has suffered neurological damage, especially during the birthing process, there is a possibility that their ability to coordinate their muscles to achieve successful and functional sucking, swallowing and breathing actions may be affected. A Speech Therapist can assist you and your baby to achieve safe and sufficient feeding routines.

Behavioural & Sensory Difficulties

Oral hypersensitivity to certain tastes, temperatures and textures can cause babies or children to resist specific foods and/or liquids. We evaluate and help you determine what the root of the problem is and how it can be addressed.

Adult Population

Speech & Communication difficulties due to

Voice disorders

Voice disorders refers to any changes in your vocal quality or volume that you don’t consider normal and that persists. It could involve hoarseness, limited vocal pitch range, or complete loss of voice. A speech therapist can evaluate your vocal function and assist with the determination and management of the source of the difficulty.

Stroke (CVA) & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
  • Dysarthria
    • Refers to weakness and/or in-coordination of speech muscles.
  • Apraxia
    • Difficulty saying sounds, syllables and words. This is not because of muscle weakness or paralysis. The brain has problems planning to move the body parts (e.g. lips, jaw, tongue) needed for speech. The person knows what he wants to say, but his brain has difficulty coordinating the muscle movements needed to say the words. (Source: ASHA, Apraxia of Speech)
  • Aphasia
    • Refers to a disturbance in the comprehension and/or expression of language caused by dysfunction in the brain. Various forms of aphasia exists ranging from having difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write.
  • Dysgraphia
    • Spelling and reading difficulties.

Feeding difficulties due to

Stroke (CVA) & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

The Speech Therapist is involved in the administration of swallow evaluations while the patient is still in the ICU, in the hospital ward or have been discharged home. We assist in determining when it is safe for the patient to start eating and drinking Speech Therapists work with dieticians to make sure the patient receives the correct consistency food and sufficient nutritional intake according to their awareness levels and motor/muscle strength and coordination abilities. This way the risk for complications like pneumonia and malnutrition is dramatically decreased after neural damage, and the recovery process is less likely to be interrupted.