Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders. It is performed by speech-language pathologists, which are often referred to as speech therapists.
Speech therapy techniques are used to improve communication. These include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and others depending on the type of speech or language disorder.
Speech therapy may be needed for speech disorders that develop in childhood or speech impairments in adults caused by an injury or illness, such as stroke or brain injury.
Why do you need speech therapy?
There are several speech and language disorders that can be treated with speech therapy.
- Articulation disorders. An articulation disorder is the inability to properly form certain word sounds. A child with this speech disorder may drop, swap, distort, or add word sounds. An example of distorting a word would be saying “thith” instead of “this”.
- Fluency disorders. A fluency disorder affects the flow, speed, and rhythm of speech. Stuttering and cluttering are fluency disorders. 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.
- Receptive disorders. A person with receptive language disorder has trouble understanding and processing what others say. 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.
- Expressive disorders. Expressive language disorder is difficulty conveying or expressing information. If you have an expressive disorder, you may have trouble forming accurate sentences, such as using incorrect verb tense. It’s associated with developmental impairments, such as Down syndrome and hearing loss. It can also result from head trauma or a medical condition.
- Cognitive-communication disorders. Difficulty communicating because of an injury to the part of the brain that controls your ability to think is referred to as cognitive-communication disorder. 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.
What happens during speech therapy?
Speech therapy usually begins with an assessment by an SLP who will identify the type of communication disorder and the best way to treat it.
Speech therapy for children
For your child, speech therapy may take place in a classroom or small group, or one-on-one, depending on the speech disorder. Speech therapy exercises and activities vary depending on your child’s disorder, age, and needs. During speech therapy for children, the SLP may:
- 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
Speech therapy for adults
Speech therapy for adults also begins with assessment to determine your needs and the best treatment. Speech therapy exercises for adults can help you with speech, language, and cognitive communication.
Therapy may also include retraining of swallowing function if an injury or medical condition, such as Parkinson’s disease oral cancer has caused swallowing difficulties.
Exercises may involve:
- 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
There are many resources available if you’re looking to try speech therapy exercises at home, including:
- speech therapy apps
- language development games and toys, such as flip cards and flash cards
What is Speech Therapy Assessment?
The scientific answer is to the question of whether the child is having difficulty speaking and whether he or she should follow a treatment plan.
We usually follow these steps
- Initially parents are called upon to obtain a complete history. History provides information on the child’s development, hereditary background, and medical data.
- Then we have the evaluation process with the child.
- This is followed by a meeting with parents who receive the speech therapy report, which describes the results of the tests, the conclusions reached, as well as a final assessment of whether the child is experiencing speech difficulties and in need of therapeutic intervention.
The Evaluation Process is a fun process for kids as the tests are presented through the game.
Which speech difficulties are treatable?
Diffuse Developmental Disorders – Autism
Other Special Difficulties in Speech and Language Development
When is it best to consult a Speech Therapist?
Early Intervention is vital when it comes to Speech Therapy. Each stage of speech development is important for a child’s development and is crucial for the next one. The speech therapist evaluates all data, according to developmental stage and age of the child, gives relevant information and recommendations to parents. Speech therapy could be started very early (2-2.5 years) for Developmental Disorders or later (4.5-5 years) for simple Phonological and Articulation Difficulties.
Is Speech Insurance Compensated by Social Security Funds (EOPYY)?
Speech Therapy is compensated by all the Insurance Funds that belong to EOPYY. With a report from a Public Hospital and the necessary documents provided by the Speech Therapist, the rehabilitation program is usually covered in its entirety.