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A Guide to Various Types of Speech Therapies

A Guide to Various Types of Speech Therapies

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A Guide to Various Types of Speech Therapies ”


Speech therapy is the branch of medical care that assesses and treats problems with communication and speech, which are conducted by speech and language pathologist (SLP) or speech therapist.

This article will discuss a varied range of speech therapy that targets developmental and acquired speech problems both in children and adults.

Speech Therapy for Small Children:

Speech therapy offers therapeutical services for all those toddlers and kids (aged 3-17) who have not started speaking when they should.

As per a study conducted in 2015, nearly 8% of children, from age 3-17, suffer speech and communication difficulties, requiring speech therapy.

During a therapy session, the therapist interacts with the child, either one to one or in a group session, and introduces a varied range of activities, games, and exercises to help overcome speech barriers.

Throughout therapy, the therapist encourages and provokes a child to speak through various activities such as playing, sign cards and pictorials. For instance, the therapist can uphold the child’s favourite toy until the child himself asks to get the toy back. Subsequently, these tactics compel the child to speak. 

For the sake of assessment, a therapist can refer a child to an otology (hearing) specialist to have his hearing check.

Speech therapy helps improving the following children speech problems:

Articulation Disorder:

This type of speech problems is usually encountered by little ones in their early stages of life when they begin talking and suffer problems to pronounce certain letters, resulting sounds may drop, distort, or add up extra word sounds. For instance, instead of saying ‘this’, a child with articulation disorder says it as “thith’’.

Articulation Exercises:

During its session, the therapist works closely with the child. Therapists primarily work on the skills, such as producing sounds and pronouncing every object, in which the child gets a problem while engaging the child in the play.

Fluency Disorder:

Stuttering and cluttering during speech come in fluency disorders when one has a problem with flow and rhythm when talk. People with stutter problems find a challenge to say out the word, and it feels as if something is blocking and interrupting in the way when one speaks, and as a result, they repeat their words. Also, a person with stumble speaks fast and combines words while speaking.

Up to 10% of children suffer stutter in a speech at some point in their lives. 

Among them, 1 in 4 children grows up with this stutter, creating issues in their daily lives. However, early intervention can help to ease stutter and stop growing to their adult age.

Speech Therapy for Stutter:

The speech therapist would help them to prepare and practice about how to,

 > Slow and control their speaking pace.

 > Handle situations where stuttering gets worse.

 > Realize when they stutter most such as when emotional or anxious.

 > Work explicitly on fluid speech.

Resonance Disorder:

It results when there is an obstruction or barrier to the airflow in the nose and mouth that cause modification of actual vocal sounds. Resonance problem is commonly found in people with cleft palate, enlarged tonsils and neurological disorders.

Breathing Exercises:

The therapist involves breathing exercises for those patients who have resonant speech.

Oral Muscle Exercises:

It involves oral strengthening exercises of jaw, tongue, lips, cheeks, and facial massage to make the speech process better.

Expressive Disorders:

In this, one has a problem in expressing his thoughts in speech. For instance, a person with an expressive disorder may struggle to deliver what is in his mind through a proper sentence, which results in speech errors. Such type of speech problem is seen in people with developmental disorders such as down syndrome. Additionally, problems with expression can also occur following a brain injury or other health conditions.

Language Exercise:

During this, therapist use signs, language card, books, and objects to provoke a child to speak. During the session, the therapist pronounces a variety of words in front of the child. Also, advice the child to repeat and keep on practicing this to curb the speech errors and improve the child language skills.

Speech Therapies for Adults

Cognitive Disorders with Communication Problems:

Any medical problem that occurs due to an injury to the functional brain regions responsible for regulating the thoughts comes in this category. Cognitive problems could lead to dementia (loss of memory), problem-solving, defective thought processing and speech errors.

Communication Therapy:

This mode of speech therapy works best for people who have memory deficits. It involves problem-solving, memorizing and conversation activities to help improve their communication.

Aphasia:

Aphasia is the hallmark of ischemic injury to the brain parts (stroke). It is an acquired speech and communication problem in which one finds difficult to understand and speak with others. They also suffer problems while reading and writing similarly.

As per research, from 8 to more than 60% of the people with stroke develops some grade of aphasia.

Speech Therapy for Aphasia:

A speech therapist will help the patients suffering from aphasia to learn about how to

 > Employ the existing communication abilities to their maximum.

 > Improve language by relearning again.

 > Adopt different ways to communicate to cover up the missing words in speech.

Dysarthria:

In this, one develops slurred speech, resulting due to muscle weakness, responsible for producing sound and speech. Among the common causes of dysarthria includes facial palsy and Multiple sclerosis.

Oral Muscle Exercises:

It involves oral strengthening exercises of jaw, tongue, lips, cheeks, and facial massage to make the speech process better.

Dysphagia Problems:

People with stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s and oral cancers can develop dysphagia problems. Speech therapy also assists in swallowing issues following health conditions in the form of regulation exercises.

Feeding Therapy:

This therapy explicitly helps those who do not eat or swallow food items suitably due to oral muscles weakness. Therefore, the therapist makes them learn about the effective use of mouth and teeth for chewing. It also involves oral movements to strengthen oral muscles and involves many other exercises of jaw, teeth, tongue, cheeks, and facial massage, which help ease speech learning.

How Much Worthwhile Taking Speech Therapy Sessions for Speech Problems?

Many research studies have acknowledged the effectiveness of speech therapy in improving speech and communications skills in children and adults.

A study about speech therapy effects on children speech errors found a positive impact of therapy on speech.

This study also deduced that nearly 6 hours of therapy sessions for six months had very optimistic effects on child speech than having therapy at all.

Another research found a positive impact of therapy on people suffering from aphasia and communication problems due to stroke and other brain injuries.

Similarly, one study found optimistic effects of speech therapy on aphasic participants who showed improvement in a speech following 16 sessions for eight weeks.





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