WHAT IS SPEECH THERAPY
Speech Therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child’s speech and ability to understand and express language depending on the nature of the disorder.
Common treatments may range from physical strengthening exercises ie to strengthen the muscles uses in speech (ORAL MOTOR WORK), instructive or repetitive practice and drilling. SLPS can often help people who stutter to speak more fluently. Articulation and fluency are only two faces of the work of an SLP.
A speech therapist also can assess, diagnose and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
Autism is a brain disorder that affects Childs communication, social, behavioral abilities and academic areas. Its symptom include hand flapping, socially inappropriate behavior and inability to initiate social interaction
You may be referred to a speech therapist, or more appropriately termed a speech-language pathologist (SLP), for a variety of disorders. An SLP can help treat problems related to speech, hearing, and swallowing. More specifically an SLP can help assess and treat:
Children with apraxia have difficulty saying certain syllables or making certain sounds. Your child knows what he or she wants to say, but it doesn't seem to come out right. Speech therapists are qualified to evaluate children for apraxia by using several tests, including:
Oral-motor assessment to check for muscle weakness in the jaw, lips or tongueMelody of speech assessment during which the therapist listens to see if they can appropriately stress certain syllables and use pitch and pauses at the appropriate place in a sentenceSpeech sound assessment which further determines how well the child can pronounce sounds, including vowels, consonants, and sound combinations. This includes determining how well others are able to understand the child's conversational speech
If your child is diagnosed with apraxia, they will probably need speech therapy on a one-on-one basis several times per week. This therapy will likely consist of intensive practicing their speech. The therapist will try to help your child understand auditory feedback as well as visual or touch cues. One way a therapist might do this is to have your child look at them in a mirror while speaking, or record them speaking and then playing it back. Many children enjoy this. Since successful treatment for apraxia involves a lot of time and commitment, your therapist may give you "assignments" to practice with your child at home.
Aphasia is a condition that causes difficulty speaking as a result of some sort of damage to the brain. The condition can also consist of difficulty listening, reading, and writing. Aphasia happens to many adults after they have experienced a stroke. Speech therapists play a crucial role in diagnosing aphasia by evaluating an individual’s ability to understand others, express them, and even swallow. There are many different things a speech therapist might do to help a person with aphasia, including:
» Drills to improve specific language skills
» Group therapy to improve conversational skills
» Gestures and writing to augmenting their communication skills
Stuttering is a problem that usually develops during childhood but can develop during adulthood as well. Stuttering is usually considered a type of behavioral problem. Speech therapists will try to teach your child who stutters behavioral modification techniques that in turn may help control their stuttering. A common method that may be used on your child is to teach them to control the rate of speech since speaking too quickly can make stuttering worse for some people. Practicing speech in a slower, more fluent manner can be helpful. It can also be helpful to monitor breathing. Even after treatment, people who stutter may require follow-up sessions with their speech therapist to keep the problem from recurring.
Your child may experience difficulty swallowing for a variety of reasons. A speech therapist may help your child with swallowing difficulty by assisting them with exercises to make her mouth strong, increase tongue movement, and improve chewing. A speech therapist may also make recommendations about the consistency of food. For infants, a speech therapist may assist in coordinating her suck-swallow-breath pattern.
As previously mentioned these are only some of the things that a speech therapist might do. There are many other conditions and methods used to evaluate those in need.