Speech therapy is the treatment and assessment of communication disorders and speech problems. Speech-language pathologists perform it. They are also called speech therapists.
For improving communication, speech therapy techniques are used. These include articulation therapy and language intervention activities depending on the type of language disorder.
Speech therapy is also needed for speech disorders that develop in childhood or speech impairments caused by injuries or illnesses such as stroke or brain injury.
What is the point of speech therapy?
Speech therapy can be used to treat many speech-language disorders.
Articulation problems. The inability to correctly form certain word sounds. These speech disorders can lead to a child’s inability to form certain word sounds correctly. A child with this speech disorder might say “that” instead of “this” to distort a word.
Fluency disorders. These conditions affect the speed, flow, and rhythms of speech. Cluttering and stuttering are both fluency disorders. Persons with stuttering have difficulty making a sound. They may also have speech problems, such as speech being blocked or interrupted or repeating a portion of the word. Someone with cluttering speaks fast and merges words.
Harmony disorders. This is when the frequency of the voice’s vibrations, which are responsible for the quality and sound quality, is affected by a blockage in airflow. If the velopharyngeal or pharyngeal valve isn’t closed properly, it can also cause this. Resonance disorders are frequently associated with a cleft palate, neurological conditions, and swelling tonsils.
Receptive disorders. People with receptive languages disorder have difficulty understanding and processing other people’s words. It can make it difficult to follow directions, seem disinterested, or cause you to have a limited vocabulary. A receptive language disorder may also include Autism, Hearing Loss, or a head injury.
Communicative disorders. Expressive language disorder. You may experience difficulties in forming correct sentences, such as incorrect verb tenses if you have an expression disorder. This can be associated with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome or hearing loss. It could also be due to head trauma, or a medical condition.
Cognitive-communication disorders. This can cause memory issues and problem-solving. It can also lead to difficulty listening. It can also be caused by certain neurological conditions, brain injuries, brain damage, and biological problems.
Aphasia. An acquired communication disorder that can affect a person’s ability to communicate and understand other people. It can also impact a person’s ability to read or write. Aphasia is most often caused by stroke but other brain diseases can cause it.
Dysarthria. It is characterized by slow or slurred speaking due to weakness or inability to control of muscles used for speech. It’s usually caused by nerve system disorders or conditions that cause facial paralysis or throat weakness, such as multiple sclerosis, atrophic lateral sclerosis, and stroke.
What happens during speech therapy?
A speech therapist usually starts with an assessment by an SLP. The SLP will determine the type and best way to treat the communication disorder.
Speech therapy for adults
speech therapy for adults begins with an assessment to determine your specific needs and provide the best treatment. Speech therapy exercises can be used to help adults with language, communication, and speech.
If an injury or condition such as Parkinson’s disease or Oral Cancer has resulted in swallowing difficulties, therapy might include retraining swallowing function.
Exercises could include:
Memory, problem solving, organization, and other activities are all geared towards improving cognitive-communication.
Conversational strategies to improve social communications
Breathing exercises to increase resonance
Exercises to build your oral muscles
There are many resources to help you if speech therapy is something that interests you at home.
Speech therapy for children
Speech therapy for children may be in a classroom, small group, or one on one depending on their speech disorder. Activities and speech therapy exercises will vary depending upon the child’s age, disorder, and needs. The speech therapist for children may:
To stimulate language development, you can interact by talking and playing and also using books, pictures, and other objects for language intervention.
To teach a child certain sounds, model the correct sounds and syllables during age-appropriate games
Provide strategies and homework for the parent, caregiver, or child about how to do speech therapy at-home
How long will you need speech therapy?
A few factors affect how long someone needs speech therapy.
Type and severity
The frequency of therapy
The treatment of an underlying medical condition
Some speech disorders develop in childhood. They improve as we age. Other disorders persist into adulthood and require continued therapy and support.
The condition of a communication disorder due to stroke or another medical condition could improve with treatment.