Speech Therapy

What Is Speech Therapy?

Speech Therapy is the treatment for speech and language disorders. Any problem in production of sound, difficulty in understanding what others speak or difficulty in putting words together to express his feelings are some of the common signs of speech disorder. So speech therapy aims at limiting the above signs in your child and making him capable of communicating his ideas and thoughts.

The prime focus of speech therapy is on the ability to understand what others are speaking (receptive language) and the ability to express yourself with words (expressive language). Sometimes, the mechanics of speech production (articulation, Fluency, pitch and volume) is also corrected. Most adults undergo this treatment after a stroke or any traumatic accident that has changed their ability to speak or use language. Mostly, it yields better results in children when treated early to pursue delayed speech milestones. Some children also need help with language. So this therapy is named as Speech-Language Pathology or Speech-Language Therapy. The most common name is ‘Speech Class’.

Common Names In Different Countries:

  • Speech-language pathology (SLP) – the United States, Canada.
  • Speech And Language Therapy (SLT) – the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa. (the Speech and Language Therapy team is referred to as the “SALT” team in the UK).
  • Speech Pathology – Australia, Philippines.
  • Speech-Language Therapy – New Zealand.
  • Speech Therapy – India, Hong Kong and other Asian countries.
  • Other names include Speech Therapy, Logopaedics, Phoniatrics etc.

The professional who is in charge of treating your child’s speech and language disabilities, is called a speech-language pathologist. They are also known as speech therapist or speech teacher. A Speech therapists works closely in association with a Psychiatrist, Physiotherapist and a Psychologist, depending on the condition of the child. They can even suggest preventive steps to check the onset of the speech and language problem in your child. If you suspect any unusual speech disability in your child, immediately get your child examined by a certified speech-language pathologist. He can help not only to determine your child’s difficulties in speaking but also help in treating it efficiently. But best results are found only when the child undergoes treatment at the very early stage of speech problems.

For speech and language disabilities involving disabilities in speaking mechanism would require determining the extent of severity of the disorder and the specific cause underlying it, using a variety of exercises to be performed by the patient to overcome the illness. The exercises may involve concentrating on strengthening the tongue and lips by blowing whistles, licking up Cheerios etc. Various tools may also be required to Assist the treatment plan. Some fun games might be designed to stimulate word retrieval, comprehension or conversation in child with language disorders. If you have thick accents or retain your original voice then also speech therapy can be of a great help.

The Speech-language Therapy is the corrective treatment for any disorders affecting a person’s speech, language, cognition, voice and swallowing (dysphagia). The basic mode of treatment includes exercises designed specifically to improve speech, language and oral motor skills. The mission of the speech-language pathology is to restore the basic speech skills. It might involve teaching sign language or using communication devices.

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