Speech and Language Therapist, Kerri Morgan, talks about speech and language therapy on information vodcasts produced by CPotential, a charitable organisation which provides education and support services to children and adults with complex needs and movement disorders, such as Cerebral Palsy (CP).

As Kerri explains, communication is a fundamental part of life and the importance of being able to express your opinions and make your needs known cannot be underestimated. For people with conditions such as CP, however, this can be very challenging.

Specialist Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) can assist people with disabilities to develop communication skills and maximise their potential to interact with others and their surroundings. SLTs can also assist with problems related to “dysphagia” (difficulties with swallowing, eating and drinking).

As medical negligence lawyers, we frequently call upon the expertise of Speech and Language Therapists to consider the various inputs that a disabled person will require throughout his or her life. This might include, for example, regular SLT sessions to enable safe feeding or to support speech, right up to high tech communication augmentation aids such as “eyegaze” systems which allow individuals to operate a computer using their eye movements.

Where a clinical negligence claim is brought in respect of a person’s disabilities (whether they are a child or an adult), the cost of obtaining speech and language therapy and specialist equipment, on a private basis, is often included within the claim.

Speech and Language Therapy services may also be obtained under the NHS, depending upon the individual’s needs, and may sometimes be provided through charitable organisations, including CPotential (as described in Kerri’s vodcasts).