Speech Therapy: What It Is & How Does It Work

Speech therapy is a treatment and assessment of certain communication problems, such as the ability to talk and use certain language skills. A proper therapy session can help you understand others and, at the same time, express your own thoughts. 

With the help of speech therapy, you can also improve your ability to solve problems and, at the same time, improve your memory. When you are in a speech therapy session, you will be working with an SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist), they are also called a speech therapist. 

“Speech therapy helps children and adults improve their communication and language skills. No matter what’s affecting your ability to speak or communicate effectively, speech therapy can improve your quality of life.

Talk to a healthcare provider about a speech therapy evaluation if you or your child has trouble talking, hearing, or using language.”

These speech therapists help people with problems such as communicating or talking, and also if someone needs help to have a proper way of understanding and processing languages better. 

Here is a list of things that proper speech therapy can solve. 

  • “Early language skills (especially children learning to talk and communicate).”
  • “Language comprehension (how well you understand words and language).”
  • “Ability to use your voice.”
  • “Clarity and expression (how easily you can communicate what you want to).”
  • “Fluency (how well and how comfortably you can use language).”

Why Do You Need Speech Therapy?   

Why Do You Need Speech Therapy?

There can be several reasons why you might require speech therapy, and a few of the reasons are listed below. 

  • Fluency Disorders

When you are dealing with a fluency disorder, then it means that the person is suffering from things such as rhythm of speech, flow, and speed as well. That is when they might start stuttering and, at the same time, cluttering of words results in fluency disorder. 

“A person with stuttering has trouble getting out a sound and may have speech that is blocked or interrupted or may repeat part of all of a word. A person with cluttering often speaks very fast and merges words together.”

  • Articulation Disorders

When a person is dealing with articulation disorders, that means they are unable to utter or form certain sentences or words, for that matter. “A child with this speech disorder may drop, swap, distort, or add word sounds. An example of distorting a word would be saying “this” instead of “this.”

  • Resonance Disorders

Medically speaking, resonance disorder is when there is a blockage or any type of obstruction on your normal airway through your oral or nasal cavities, which are responsible for the voice quality as well. 

“It can also happen if the velopharyngeal valve doesn’t close properly. Resonance disorders are often associated with cleft palate, neurological disorders, and swollen tonsils.”

  • Expressive Disorders 

If someone is dealing with expressive disorder, then that would mean they are having trouble expressing and forming accurate sentence structure. They might end up using the wrong tense or verb. 

“It’s associated with developmental impairments, such as Down syndrome and hearing loss. It can also result from head trauma or a medical condition.”

  • Receptive Disorders 

When a child or adult is suffering from receptive disorder, that means they are having trouble understanding what others are saying. They face trouble processing and understanding. 

“This can cause you to seem uninterested when someone is speaking, have trouble following directions, or have a limited vocabulary. Other language disorders, autism, hearing loss, and a head injury can lead to a receptive language disorder.”

  • Aphasia

The Asphasia disorder is technically an acquired communication disorder. It affects the ability to speak and even understand others.

“It also often affects a person’s ability to read and write. Stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, though other brain disorders can also cause it.”

  • Dysarthria

Dysarthria disorder is characterized as slurred and slow speech that occurs due to the inability or even weakness to control one’s muscles that are used for speech. 

“It’s most commonly caused by nervous system disorders and conditions that cause facial paralysis or throat and tongue weakness, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and stroke.”

  • Apraxia

“People dealing with apraxia know what they want to say, but have trouble forming the words. They may have trouble with reading, writing, swallowing, and other motor skills.”

  • Cognitive-Communication Disorders

If someone is suffering from cognitive-communication disorder, then it can be because of brain injury since the brain controls communication. 

“It can result in memory issues, problem-solving, and difficulty speaking or listening. It can be caused by biological problems, such abnormal brain development, certain neurological conditions, a brain injury, or stroke.”

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How Do I Know If I Need Speech Therapy?

How Do I Know If I Need Speech Therapy?

“If your healthcare provider suspects that you or your child has a speech disorder, they’ll recommend some initial screenings. These tests will help determine the underlying cause of any communication issues.”

“For example, if your child has trouble communicating, your healthcare provider may refer your child to an audiologist for a hearing test. If your child passes the hearing test, they might need to work with a speech-language pathologist.”

What Activities Are Done In Speech Therapy? 

What Activities Are Done In Speech Therapy? 

The activities that are done for speech therapy are different for kids and adults. When it comes to kids, the activities are more or less like games of sequence activities or any type of language-based board games. 

However, for adults, speech therapy is focused mainly on rebuilding and improving certain skill sets that will strengthen the coordination between the mouth and the brain. So, if you wanna know about some of these activities, a few of them are listed below.

  • Tongue & Mouth Exercises 

“Your speech therapist will show you exercises and motions that will strengthen your mouth and tongue. These exercises help train your tongue to move in coordinated patterns.”

  • Facial Movements 

“Controlling the expression on your face can help improve your motor skills. Your therapist might have you smile or pucker your lips, then relax your face.”

  • Playing With Games

“Studies have shown that memory games, word searches, and crossword puzzles can maintain cognitive function and improve thinking skills.”

  • Reading Out Loud

“If your speech disorder prevents you from moving your mouth and tongue properly, reading out loud can strengthen the connection between your brain and mouth.”

What Does Speech Therapy Do? 

What Does Speech Therapy Do? 

“Speech therapy will help you improve your ability to speak and communicate with language. What kind of speech therapy you need depends on several factors, including your age and which health condition or speech challenges you might have.”

“Your speech-language pathologist will recommend appropriate treatment based on your specific situation. There are many different approaches and categories of speech therapy, and your speech therapist will find one that works best for you.”

What Age Is The Best For Speech Therapy? 

What Age Is The Best For Speech Therapy? 

“Anyone who needs help with speech or language skills can benefit from speech therapy. There’s no age that’s best or more correct to get help. Both pediatric speech treatment and speech therapy for adults can help anyone with a communication disorder.”

“Studies have found that children who need speech therapy have the most success when they start it early and practice at home with a loved one.”

What Happens During Speech Therapy? 

As I said before, speech therapy is different for kids and adults, so the activity that happens during speech therapy is also different for kids and adults. 

But, the therapy session is conducted by a Speech-Language Pathologist; they are also referred to as speech therapists. They are the ones who are responsible for determining the type of communication disorder a person is going through and also the best possible way of treating it. 

  1. Speech Therapy For Toddlers And Children 
Speech Therapy For Toddlers And Children 

When it comes to a child or even a toddler, the therapy session usually takes place in a classroom-like environment, in a group, or on one. 

Although these depend on the severity of the speech disorder or even the child’s need and age. The SLP determines all of these, and they might interact with the child in the following ways. 

  • “Interact through talking and playing, and using books, pictures, other objects as part of language intervention to help stimulate language development.”
  • “Model correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate play to teach the child how to make certain sounds.”
  • “Provide strategies and homework for the child and parent or caregiver on how to do speech therapy at home.”
  1. Speech Therapy For Adults
Speech Therapy For Adults

When it comes to adults, the initial stages are the same, and that is to assess and observe the patient and then determine the exact type of disorder they are dealing with. 

After that, the SLPs are also the ones who determine what you need and the correct course of treatment and medication you may require. The person can be dealing with swallowing issues and may require re-swallowing training. 

This problem can be due to a medical condition like Parkinson’s disease or any type of oral cancer that affects the ability to swallow. 

  • “Problem solving, memory, and organization, and other activities geared at improving cognitive communication.”
  • “Conversational tactics to improve social communication.”
  • “Breathing exercises for resonance.”
  • “Exercises to strengthen oral muscles.”

Now, for adults, if you wanna do adult speech treatment at home, then there are certain resources through which you can easily do that. But in certain severe cases, it is better to get help from a specialist. 

  • “Speech therapy apps.”
  • “Language development games and toys, such as flip cards and flash cards.”
  • “Workbooks.”

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What Are The Advantages Of Speech Therapy? 

What Are The Advantages Of Speech Therapy? 

When I am talking about speech therapy, it is important to understand why it is important to do speech therapy. As in, what are the benefits someone can receive from speech treatment?

  • School readiness for young children.
  • Increases independence.
  • It improves your self-esteem.
  • It enhances your vocal quality.
  • Improves the quality of life that you will lead.
  • It improves the ability to express and comprehend thoughts, ideas, and feelings. 
  • It develops early language skills.
  • Speech therapy also improves better swallowing functions. 

How Long Do You Need Speech Therapy?

The duration of which a person needs speech therapy usually depends on a few important factors, such as.  

  • The age 
  • The type of speech disorder
  • How severely does the speech disorder affect your communication abilities?
  • If you need to recover from an underlying health condition.
  • How often do you attend speech therapy? 

In some cases, when the speech disorder starts during childhood, with age, they usually improve fast enough. But for speech disorders that start later in life, it takes a lot of time to improve properly. So, they usually need treatment for speech for a longer term, and they also require maintenance. 

Does Speech Therapy Actually Work? 

“Yes, speech therapy is a proven, effective treatment that’s helped millions of people improve their language and communication skills.”

“There’s not one definition of success for speech therapy. Talk to your healthcare provider or speech therapist about setting and achieving goals that fit your unique needs.”

When Should I Consult My Doctor? 

When Should I Consult My Doctor? 

It is crucial that you consult your doctor as soon as you think either you or someone you know is dealing with a speech disorder and is in need of speech therapy. 

The sooner you start with speech therapy, the better. But here are a few things that you need to keep note of as a sign to visit the doctor. 

  • “Talking infrequently or less than usual.”
  • “Trouble understanding simple sentences.”
  • “Difficulty using language or words.”
  • “Getting frustrated easily when reading, talking or listening.”

Wrapping Up! 

“Speech therapy can treat a broad range of speech and language delays and disorders in children and adults. With early intervention, Therapy for speech can improve communication and boost self-confidence.” 

So, if you think that speech therapy is something that is going to help you with your speech disability, then it is something that you could think about. Now, if you think that this article was helpful, then give this article a like and comment down below.  

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