Speech therapy aims to improve the language skills of both children and adults, so they can express their thoughts better. It’s also going to work on areas like problem-solving and memory of the people involved. Expect to work with a speech-language pathologist who will find treatments and exercises that are tailored to your needs, and you can also get help in understanding language as well as swallowing food. See more about this specific pathology on this page here.
During these sessions, the specialists will evaluate the individual’s current abilities and create a customized treatment plan and techniques such as articulation exercises, voice training, language comprehension activities, and even assistive devices like communication boards or electronic aids.
The focus is often on real-life situations and practical goals where people who struggle with public speaking due to a stutter or have difficulty expressing themselves clearly in social settings, will have a therapist work on those specific areas.
A program’s duration can vary depending on the individual’s needs and progress, some people may require only a few months of regular appointments, while others might benefit from longer-term treatment plans. It’s best to approach this with an open mind and commitment to practice outside of the sessions because consistency and active participation are key factors in achieving positive outcomes.
Common Speech Disorders
- Childhood Apraxia
Talking requires the muscles around the throat and mouth to move, and this signal comes from the brain. However, in the case of apraxia, the messages are not going to the correct muscles, and it’s not necessarily because the muscles are weak. The child can’t just move their tongue and mouth to make the right sounds, and the severity of the condition may be different from one patient to another.
Fortunately, younger kids can grow out of this developmental issue with the help of a speech therapist. However, the learning process won’t be the same with the other children.
- Adult Apraxia
Acquired or verbal apraxia may be caused by oxygen deprivation or strong, or severe trauma to the brain. This can affect an older person’s way of making sounds, and they may not be able to pronounce some words in the right way. They can’t control their lips and mouth and may talk slowly. With the help of adult speech therapy, they can make improvements for accent modification. The specialists can also decrease frustration and increase the confidence of many people affected by this condition.
Whole words can be repeated, and other sounds are stretched with stuttering. Couple this with negative feelings while talking, it’s no wonder why so many older adults don’t want to talk when they have this disorder. Saying repetitive words, blocks, and prolonged sounds may be caused by genetics. When there’s a family history of this disorder, and the child is showing signs of this at six months, then a speech pathologist may be needed to intervene.
Individuals who may have gotten brain damage to their left side will generally have a hard time reading, writing, or understanding other people. They might also find it difficult to respond to the correct speech, or they may tend to make up words. Aphasia is a condition that makes people say the wrong word when they can’t remember the right one. Find info about aphasia on this website.
- Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder
Anyone can get OMD, and they can generally interfere with the development of bones and muscles in the face, and this can impact eating, swallowing, and breathing. It’s also called tongue thrusting, which is when a child tends to push their tongue out when eating or drinking.
What to Expect from Speech Therapy Sessions?
For adults, the therapy can help them with communication problems that eliminate lisp or stutter. Others aim to improve their professional development, where they can strengthen their skills for public speaking, interviewing, online communication, or talking over the phone. It’s always a good idea to talk about your goals with your chosen therapist.
Each session will typically begin with a brief discussion about your progress and any challenges you may be facing, and the expert will then guide you through various exercises and activities that target specific speech goals.
During the sessions, you can expect to work on improving articulation, fluency, voice quality, or language skills, depending on your individual needs. Your therapist may use techniques such as repetition, breathing exercises, vocal warm-ups, or even role-playing scenarios to help improve your communication abilities. See more about breathing exercises at this link: https://royalpapworth.nhs.uk/application/files/9316/6792/7737/PI-163-Breathing-exercises-to-support-speech-A4.pdf.
It’s common for sessions to involve both individualized one-on-one work with the practitioner and group activities where you can practice your newfound skills in a supportive environment. These programs can provide valuable opportunities for social interaction and real-life application of the techniques learned during individual therapy.
As with any form of therapy or skill-building process, progress takes time and consistency. It’s important to approach each session with patience and an open mind and know that everyone is progressing at their own pace. While there may be moments of frustration along the way, remember that every step forward is a victory worth celebrating.
What Can They Do More For You?
- Get the Chance of Being Heard in a Noisy Place
Friends can ask you to repeat yourself if you’re talking in a noisy café, and this is normal. When you lose your voice after a fun Friday night, you can get the help of the pros to optimize your speech to be more effective in saying things that you want to articulate regardless of the place.
A significantly decreased effort in speech can result in reduced air pressure and volume. Imprecise or light consonant productions can also result in mumbling, and this is where a trained therapist can work on your speech production and help you become more comfortable. They help you become more articulate as well.
Having the above-average to relate to others can be beneficial, especially if you’re trying to win new friends through small talk and finding new networks. You can discuss specific non-verbal cues and other practicing strategies to establish ease and comfort while speaking and develop helpful skills with talking that you can use later in life.