As Educators and Clinicians, we work with the concept of speech therapy every day. We understand the impact it can have on a life and where to apply it. But as with all things, sometimes it’s good to get back to basics. So for aspiring Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), parents, or those just looking for a simple explanation, let’s walk through the basics of speech therapy.
Speech therapy improves communication by addressing any number of disorders, delays, or impairments in both children and adults. (https://www.healthline.com/health/speech-therapy)
Due to the wide range of issues and impairments that can be addressed, people of all ages may benefit from speech therapy. (https://www.asha.org/public/who-are-speech-language-pathologists/)
Speech-Language Pathologists may work at schools, private practices, physicians’ offices, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care facilities, or hospitals. Some sessions may even be conducted via tele therapy. (https://www.asha.org/public/who-are-speech-language-pathologists/)
The first step for speech therapy to be evaluated and diagnosed by a Speech-Language Pathologist. Once the diagnoses is made, they create a plan using the appropriate tools, techniques and strategies to address the issue. These may include:
- Talking, playing, and interacting
- Books and Pictures
- Sound modeling
- Problem solving
- Oral muscle exercises
- Breathing exercises
SLPs can help with a number of speech issues, including:
- Expressive disorders using speech or language
- Oral feeding problems. This may include swallowing or drooling.
- Articulation disorders, which may impact sounds or words
- Trouble with receptive (being able to understand) language
- Dysarthria, a condition characterized by slow or slurred speech due to a weakness or inability to control the muscles used for speech.
- Fluency disorders, which may include stuttering.
- Trouble with pragmatic, or socially appropriate language.
- Voice or resonance issues, that may impact volume, pitch, or quality of speech.
- Cognitive-communication disorders, including memory issues, problem solving, and difficulty speaking, or listening.
SLPs use speech therapy to help others overcome hurdles and gain confidence so that they can gain the ability and grow confidence. Being able to make such a positive impact on lives