Why is Speech Therapy Needed
The Value of Intervention for Children and Adults
Speech therapy can greatly improve the quality of life for anyone experiencing issues with speech disorders. A speech therapist, known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), will conduct a thorough assessment and then create a customized treatment plan to help the patient overcome or live with their disorders.
There are a variety of techniques used during speech therapy. Each of these techniques targets a specific area of speech, such as articulation or sound production. Speech therapy is useful for anyone who is experiencing a speech impairment, whether it’s developed in childhood or later in life.
Understanding when to seek speech therapy is important to work towards a solution to speech impairments. Today, we’re going to examine exactly when someone should seek speech therapy for themselves or someone in their care.
Why Would Someone Need Speech Therapy?
There are a wide variety of language and speech disorders that can be treated with speech therapy. Some of these issues are:
- Expressive disorders: An expressive language disorder is when an individual has difficulty expressing or conveying information. This can manifest itself by the patient forming unclear sentences, or using the inaccurate verb tense. This disorder is associated with Down syndrome, hearing loss, or head trauma.
- Cognitive-communication disorder: Communication issues related to the individual’s ability to think is known as a cognitive-communication disorder. These are often the result of an injury but can be caused by biological problems as well.
- Aphasia: This communication disorder can impact the ability the understand others. It can also impact their speech. Aphasia is typically caused by strokes or other brain disorders.
- Fluency disorders: These types of disorders impact someone’s ability to have a steady, flowing rhythm of speech. Cluttering and stuttering are common fluency disorders. Someone with a fluency disorder may have problems producing specific sounds or may repeat parts of a word.
- Resonance disorders: This classification of speech disorders refers to any problem related to a blockage or obstruction of airflow in the oral or nasal cavities. This type of disorder is associated with neurological disorders, swollen tonsils, or a cleft palate.
- Articulation disorders. The inability to form specific word sounds is an articulate disorder. Sounds may be dropped, swapped, added, or removed. A common example is saying “thith” instead of “this.”
Children should be monitored according to a speech development chart. They may develop any of the above issues throughout their development. The earlier an issue is detected, the sooner it can be resolved. Contact a speech therapist if you suspect that your child is having delayed speech development to have them assessed.
What Happens During a Speech Therapy Session?
Speech therapy sessions will look different for everyone who receives speech therapy. When someone begins seeing an SLP, they will begin with a thorough assessment to identify which communication disorders are present in the patient. From there, the SLP will determine the best plan of action to treat the disorders.
Both children and adults regularly seek speech therapy. Even though the end goal is often similar, speech therapists will use different techniques depending on the patient’s age.
Speech Therapy Sessions for Children
Speech therapy for children can be done in classrooms, small groups, or one-on-one. The type of session your child receives will largely depend on the speech disorder that the child is experiencing. Each session will be catered to assisting the child’s needs, which will vary based on the disorder.
Some common speech therapy activities for children are:
- Playing, reading books, and identifying objects in pictures to stimulate language development
- Provide homework and life strategies for the child and caregiver so that they can continue practicing at home
- Teach the child how to pronounce sounds correctly, depending on the child’s age
Speech Therapy Sessions for Adults
Once a speech therapist has determined which speech disorders are present, a plan of action will be crafted for the adult. Most adult sessions are one-on-one, but group sessions do exist. A speech therapy session for adults will look different depending on the speech disorders that are present.
Some common exercises that a speech therapist may employ are:
- Memory building exercises
- Conversational tactics to improve communication
- Breathing exercises
- Oral muscle strengthening exercises
The Sooner Speech Therapy Begins, The Better
If you’ve determined that you or someone under your care needs speech therapy, it’s time to start as soon as possible. This is especially important with children, as development issues can be corrected and entirely eliminated. The earlier speech therapy begins, the better the results will be.
Are you looking to enroll your child in speech therapy right away? Get immediate help with our online speech therapy program, which gives you access to the essential resources, systems, and exercises your child needs to develop their vocabulary.