What exactly is Speech Therapy?

The assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders is known as speech therapy. It is carried out by speech-language pathologists (SLPs), also known as speech therapists.

To improve communication, speech therapy techniques are used. Depending on the type of speech or language disorder, these may include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and others.

Speech therapy may be required for childhood speech disorders or adult speech impairments caused by an injury or illness, such as a stroke or brain injury.

What is the purpose of speech therapy?

Speech therapy can help with a variety of speech and language disorders.

  • Articulation problems :  An articulation disorder is the inability to form certain word sounds correctly. This speech disorder causes a child to drop, swap, distort, or add word sounds. Saying “thith” instead of “this” is an example of a word distort.
  • Fluency problems : The flow, speed, and rhythm of speech are all affected by a fluency disorder. Fluency disorders include stuttering and cluttering. A person who stutters has difficulty making a sound and may have speech that is blocked or interrupted, or may repeat part of a word. A person suffering from cluttering frequently speaks quickly and mingles words.
  • Disorders of resonance : A resonance disorder occurs when the vibrations responsible for voice quality are altered due to a blockage or obstruction of regular airflow in the nasal or oral cavities. It may also occur if the velopharyngeal valve fails to close properly. Cleft palate, neurological disorders, and swollen tonsils are frequently associated with resonance disorders.
  • Receptive deficits : A person suffering from receptive language disorder has difficulty understanding and processing what others are saying. This can make you appear uninterested when others are speaking, have difficulty following directions, or have a limited vocabulary. A receptive language disorder can be caused by another language disorder, autism, hearing loss, or a head injury.
  • Disorders of expression : The inability to convey or express information is referred to as expressive language disorder. If you have an expressive disorder, you may struggle to form correct sentences, such as using the wrong verb tense. It’s linked to developmental issues like Down syndrome and hearing loss. It can also be caused by a head injury or a medical condition.
  • Communication and cognitive disorders : Cognitive-communication disorder refers to communication difficulties caused by an injury to the part of the brain that controls your ability to think. It can cause memory problems, difficulty solving problems, and difficulty speaking or listening. It is caused by biological issues such as abnormal brain development, certain neurological conditions, a brain injury, or a stroke.
  • Aphasia : This is a learned communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to communicate and understand others. It also frequently impairs a person’s ability to read and write. A stroke is the most common cause of aphasia, but it can also be caused by other brain disorders.
    Dysarthria. Slow or slurred speech is a symptom of this condition, which is caused by a weakness or inability to control the muscles used for speech. Multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and stroke are the most common causes, as are nervous system disorders and conditions that cause facial paralysis or throat and tongue weakness.

What takes place during speech therapy?

An SLP will usually conduct an assessment to determine the type of communication disorder and the best way to treat it.

Children’s speech therapy

Depending on your child’s speech disorder, speech therapy may take place in a classroom, small group, or one-on-one setting. The exercises and activities used in speech therapy vary depending on your child’s disorder, age, and needs.During children’s speech therapy, the SLP may:

Interact by talking and playing, as well as using books, pictures, and other objects as part of a language intervention model to help stimulate language development. correct sounds and syllables for a child’s age-group appropriate play to teach the child specific sounds
provide strategies and homework on how to do speech therapy at home for the child and parent or caregiver.

Adults’ speech therapy

Adult speech therapy begins with an assessment to determine your needs and the best treatment. Adult speech therapy exercises can help with speech, language, and cognitive communication.

If an injury or medical condition, such as Parkinson’s disease or oral cancer, has caused swallowing difficulties, therapy may also include swallowing function retraining.

Exercises could include:

  • Problem solving, memory, and organisation, as well as other activities aimed at improving cognitive communication, are all examples of cognitive communication activities.
  • conversational strategies for better social communication.
  • breathing exercises for resonance oral muscle strengthening.

If you want to try speech therapy exercises at home, there are many resources available, including:

Language development games and toys, such as flip cards and flash cards, and workbooks for speech therapy.

How long will you require speech therapy?

The length of time a person requires speech therapy is determined by several factors, including:

  • their age,
  • the type and severity of the speech disorder,
  • the frequency of therapy,
  • and the treatment of an underlying medical condition.

Some speech disorders appear in childhood and improve with age, whereas others persist into adulthood and necessitate long-term therapy and maintenance.

A communication disorder caused by a stroke or another medical condition may improve as the condition improves and treatment is received.

Some speech disorders appear in childhood and improve with age, whereas others persist into adulthood and necessitate long-term therapy and maintenance.

A communication disorder caused by a stroke or another medical condition may improve as the condition improves and treatment is received.

How effective is speech therapy?

Speech therapy success rates vary depending on the disorder being treated and age group. When you begin speech therapy can also influence the outcome.

Speech therapy for young children has been shown to be most effective when started early and practised at home with the participation of a parent or caregiver.