The Role of the SLP and Assistive Technology in Life Care Planning
Individuals with communication disorders present complex, confusing, and often frustrating challenges to the life care planner. Communication itself is an abstract concept, with disorders in communication, defined by brain-monitoring technology, sophisticated differential diagnoses, and an ability to understand normal and abnormal human speech and language. The best-qualified person to evaluate and make recommendations in this specific area is the speech-language pathologist (SLP). This chapter discusses the role of the SLP and the advanced areas of training and preparation needed to demonstrate the level of knowledge and skills in communication sciences and disorders necessary in life care planning. It discusses the neurolitigation considerations for the SLP. The research in communication sciences and disorders changes daily, the outcomes improve the services of speech-language pathologists and audiologists, and the patients' communication disorders outcomes improve as a result. Two key areas of research in Communication Sciences and Disorders are laryngeal imaging and biofeedback for acquired apraxia of speech, both of which warrant some comments.