Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy

What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and language therapy treats disorders that are formally defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) as a “communication difficulty” or problematic language skills that prevent effective communication in daily life.

Each subclass of speech and word is represented by a direction in the official definition of the communication disorder.  Fluency difficulty in an individual’s speech, for example, may indicate frequent stuttering, delayed speech, and other speech fluency issues, such as word or phrase repetition.

Who Has Speech and Language Disorders?

Anyone can be born with a speech and language disorder or develop one as a result of brain trauma. However, many speech and language disorders are assessed during childhood so that early intervention and treatment might enhance their communication skills in social and academic settings.  Many of those with speech and language disorders receive treatment in childhood and adolescence.

Speech and language therapy from a licensed speech therapist or speech-language pathologist can help people with various communication difficulties. Treatment typically started with the speech therapist assessing the individual and recommending the most effective treatment.

Speech and Language Disorder Therapy

The speech-language pathologist (SLP) uses a comprehensive approach to identify, diagnose, and manage speech and language disorders.  There are several treatments for speech and language disorders, the most commonly used therapy is based on the principles of behavioral therapies.  The focus is on the progress and measurement of development in the individual’s speech patterns, tones, and overall communication skills.

Speech Therapy and Language for Children

Depending on the speech disorder, treatment approaches may take place in school alongside other children with similar speech and language disorders, or it may take place on a one-on-one basis. The techniques and exercises used within speech therapy differ not only on the specific type of disorder, but also to what extent it has on child’s natural development. The SLP may engage with children during speech therapy by communicating and playing games that promote effective communication. 

Books, drawings, and other kinds of art are used as a component of the speech and language intervention model.  The model can promote and stimulate language development in terms of age-appropriate tones and syllables that are ideal to effectively communicate to the child with consideration of their natural developmental process.  The SLP typically recommends that the parents or parental figure continue to use this strategy at home.

Speech Therapy and Language for Adults

Adult treatment for speech and language disorders may or may differ from children’s speech and language disorder treatments. Adults are generally treated with interactive psychotherapies and dynamic exercises and activities that are adapted to their individual’s objectives of developing a more effective communication. 

If swallowing complications have been caused by an injury or medical condition such as Parkinson’s disease or esophageal cancer, their speech and language therapy may include swallowing retraining. 

The SLT uses techniques and activities that are developed to strengthen effective communication.  These techniques include practices that are structured around problem solving activities, memory retention, organizational skills, and other relative exercises that improve the adult’s communication skills. 

Some tools used include speech therapy apps, workbooks, flash cards and similar games, and other games.  The SLT may also implement breathing exercises to promote resonance and oral muscle development and strength.  Speech therapy is offered at the SLT’s practice and can also be done at home.

Finding Speech and Language Therapy

Typically, speech and language disorders develop in childhood and improve with age and early intervention, while others persist into adulthood and necessitate long-term treatment and maintenance.

The length of time a person is required speech therapy is determined by a number of criteria, including the specific kind of speech and language disorder, and to what extent the speech and language disorder impairs daily communication in school or the workplace.

What Should I Do If I Need Speech and Language Therapy?

First, consult your primary care physician or the pediatrician for your child.

Speech Therapists will schedule an evaluation for you or your child, either in their office or through telehealth (virtual consultations).

Beyond Communication is ready to help you identify the issues, recommend, and implement treatment. Call us today for a free 15 minute introductory call so we can answer your questions and give you more details about our services.

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