This week (10-16 June) is Huntington’s Disease Awareness Week. Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. There are a range of symptoms related to the disorder, including speech and swallowing difficulties. This is where a speech and language therapist would be involved.
Speech and language therapists are an important part of the multidisciplinary team working with someone with HD and their families. A speech and language therapist’s role may include:
* assessing the person’s communication and swallowing abilities and looking at their needs or potential difficulties
* providing recommendations related to increasing the safety of eating and drinking or to make swallowing easier
* providing recommendations to support someone’s communication
* education about the communication and swallowing difficulties that may arise due to HD, including with the person who has HD, their families or carers.
* helping with planning care and discussing issues related to HD.
Working with people with HD is a specialist area, and not all speech and language therapists will be experienced in working with clients with HD. Some of the therapists who list working with people with progressive neurological conditions may have expertise in this area. It is important to check with each therapist about their expertise and experience.
To find out more about Huntington’s Disease, you may want to visit the Huntington’s Disease Association website.
The views expressed in the blog do not necessarily represent the views of ASLTIP. Publication does not imply endorsement.
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