Communication Issues in ALS

Access for residents of Quebec

This session is intended for Caregivers, Patients, Professionals

ALS can impact communication for both the person with ALS and their communication partners and the fear of loosing the ability to speak is very real for the person with ALS. But, with the help of the Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) and eventually the SLP/OT team, communication need not be lost.

This webinar will inform participants about changes in communication, how to preserve natural speech, how to use low and/or high tech options to supplement communication in order to maximize the quality of natural speech, and what community services are available to ensure that communication remains possible.

Some key points to be discussed are:

  • How ALS affects communication
  • What can be done to maintain natural speech for as long as possible
  • Communication options once speech is no longer functional, including apps available to all
  • Why the SLP/OT team  should be involved

Caregivers and people with ALS are strongly urged to participate. Healthcare professionals are also welcome.

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  1. Tiziana di Rocco is a Speech-Language Pathologist at McGill University Health Centre. Her educational background includes a MSc(A) in Communication Sciences and Disorders from McGill University in Montreal, a B.A. with double major in Eng/Fre Translation and Italian Literature and a major in Linguistics, all from Concordia University, in Montreal. Tiziana is aware that when a person is diagnosed with bulbar ALS, it is not unusual for the quality of their speech to deteriorate. Her role as the speech-language pathologist of the ALS clinic at the MNH, is to, help individuals and their caregivers understand what is happening to their ability to communicate and to ensure that access to communication is retained throughout the progression of the disease. Tiziana knows that ALS will affect different people in different ways so no single option for communication will be right for everyone. Her skills as an SLP help identify what can be provided from the MNH or if the more specialized OT/SLP team intervention at a rehabilitation centre is needed.

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