Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communication problems and speech disorders. Speech is producing distinct forms of sounds that convey a message to a listener. Certain types of speech disorder can affect an individual’s ability to produce sounds to create words. A specialized speech therapist can minimize or eliminate the effects.
In this post, we shall explore different types of speech therapy to treat language and speech problems in both children and adults. But before we get into the topic, let’s acquaintance more about speech disorder.
Understanding Speech Disorder and Their Types
Speech disorder affects an individual’s ability to produce sounds that allow them to communicate with others. The problem prevents them from forming distinct forms of Words, Sounds, etc. Speech problems may create barriers to language and communication development.
Role of Speech Therapy
Speech therapy plays a holistic role in the patient’s development. Speech therapist or speech language pathologist are trained personnel who work with children and adults having speech and language related disorder. They specialize in providing consultation, screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management services. Speech therapists enhance social skills, improve communication and empower them to cope up with a better lifestyle.
Types of Speech Disorder
Speech or language disorder can affect people of all ages. Here are some common categories of speech disorder you need to identify before going for the therapies.
- Fluency: Stuttering and cluttering
- Speech: Articulation
- Language: Ability and comprehension of spoken and written language
- Cognition: Attention, memory, ability to solve problems
- Voice: Characteristics of vocal tone
- Auditory habilitation
- Swallowing disorder
The speech-language pathologist (SLP) advises a respective speech therapy program based on examining the cause and treatment for the speech disorder.
Different Types of Speech Therapies
Here are a few common types of speech therapies that your speech pathologist may advise.
Speech Therapy for Fluency Disorder
Fluency (Stuttering / Stammering) is a common problem in both children and Adults. 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 of 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 fast and merges words together. Stuttering is typically considered a behavioral problem. An SLPs utilize a variety of behavioral modification techniques to control stuttering.
A usual method is to train the patient to control their speech rate since speaking too fast makes the stuttering worse. Thus, practicing slow speech can improve fluency, besides aids monitoring breathing.
Speech Therapy for Articulation Disorder
Articulation Disorders are problems with making sound in syllables, or saying words incorrectly to the point that listeners can’t understand what is being said. A child with this speech disorder may substitute, omit, distort or add word sounds. For example Substituting “tat” for “cat”, Omitting “cu for “cup”. The Speech therapist models the sound the child has difficulty with. This might include demonstrating how to move the tongue to create specific sounds.
Swallow Therapy for Swallowing Difficulty
Swallowing difficulty (Dysphagia) is a difficulty with eating, drinking, swallowing and drooling. A swallowing disorder may lead to poor nutrition, weight loss and other health problems. The cause of swallowing difficulty may vary from person to person. The Swallow therapist teaches exercises to strengthen the muscles of the mouth. This might include facial massage and various tongue, lip and jaw exercises, further they may use different food textures to encourage awareness during eating and swallowing.
A Swallow specialist may also advise slow chewing of food which makes it easy to swallow food or liquid from mouth to stomach. There are many other conditions and approaches to determining those in need.
Speech Therapy for Aphasia
Aphasia is a communication disorder caused by damage to the brain’s language capabilities. Common causes of aphasia are Strokes, brain tumors, traumatic brain injuries, degenerative brain diseases. This is an acquired communication disorder that affects a person’s ability to speak and understand others. It also affects the ability to listen, read, or write. Aphasia can occur in adults or children.
A speech-language pathologist plays a vital role in intervening aphasia by examining patients’ ability to understand speech, express themselves. Some combination of treatments used to treat aphasia is drilled to improve language skill, group therapy to refine conversational skills, writing to ameliorate communication skills.
Speech Therapy for Late Talkers
Some people require intensive speech therapy to speak normally. The earlier they start, the better treatment they can receive. If your child should be talking to you now, that means they are having difficulty talking. The speech therapist implies a variety of techniques to encourage children to speak.
For some children, different types of communication techniques are facilitated like picture cards, toys, sign language etc. Your speech therapist may also recommend you to an audiologist for further screening of a hearing test.
Speech Therapy for Apraxia
People with apraxia have difficulty with pronouncing some words or making particular sounds. In this problem, the person knows what to say or speak, but words doesn’t seem to come out. The SLP uses a combination of assessment techniques like oral motor assessment, a melody of speech assessment, and speech sound assessment to diagnose the main cause.
If the person is diagnosed with dyspraxia, may require a one-to-one speech therapy session multiple times a week. This type of speech therapy requires a comprehensive practice of speech.
Speech Therapy for Dysarthria
Dysarthria is a speech disorder caused by muscle weakness. It causes slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand. Common causes of dysarthria are Stroke, Brain injury, Brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease, Nervous system disorders and conditions that cause facial paralysis or tongue or throat muscle weakness. Speech therapist helps you in strengthening muscles, increasing breath support, adjusting speech rate and helping family members communicate with you.
A voice disorder is when the voice has a problem with pitch, tone, volume and other qualities. Speech language pathologist play a key role in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders.
A speech disorder can affect a person’s self-esteem. SpHear Speech and Hearing Clinic is a certified center for treating speech and language disorder. The clinic is led by an expert team of audiologists, speech and language pathologists, and other lab pathologists. We are committed to early identification and intervention of all speech and language disorders. Book your appointment for online or one-to-one speech therapy today.