What is speech therapy? – Benefits, Methods And Activities.

The therapy of the language focuses receptive language, or the ability to understand the words to be expressed, and expressive language, or the ability to use words to express also handles the mechanics of producing words, as the joint , tone, fluidity and volume.

When children need speech therapy, it can involve chasing milestones that have been delayed. Some children only need help with language, others have the most problems with speech mechanics, and some need help with multiple facets of speech, language, and swallowing. Adults may need therapy after a stroke or traumatic accident, brain injury, or surgery that changes their ability to use language or their ability to swallow.

What is speech therapy?

It is an intervention service that focuses on improving the child’s speech and abilities to understand and express language, including non-verbal language. Speech therapists or pathologists are the professionals in charge of providing services.

Speech therapy includes two components:

1) Coordinate the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and regulation of voice volume).

2) Understanding and expression of language (to address the use of language through written, pictorial, body and sign forms, and the use of language through alternative communication systems, such as social networks, computers and iPads). In addition, the role of therapists in treating swallowing disorders has been expanded to include all aspects of eating.

What are the benefits of speech therapy?

The goal is to improve the skills that will allow your child to communicate more effectively, there are other benefits as well. These may include:

  • Improved ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
  • Speak intelligibly so that others understand your child.
  • Greater ability to solve problems in an independent environment.
  • Improved swallowing function and safety.
  • Achievement of school readiness skills.
  • Development of pre-literacy skills.
  • Improved vocal quality.
  • Speak fluently.
  • Development of practical social skills.
  • Better life quality.
  • Greater self-esteem.
  • Increased independence.

The ability to express yourself is paramount, speech therapy can help your child achieve a greater ability to use and understand language, to communicate with others, and to express himself as much as possible.

Delaying speech therapy for your child runs the risk of missing that important interval of time between birth and three years of age when the brain is maturing and learning occurs rapidly.

What do speech therapists do?

Speech therapists, also known as speech pathologists, evaluate and treat speech, swallowing, language, or communication problems in people of all ages so that they can communicate to the best of their ability.They can also work with people who have trouble speaking. eat and swallow.

Speech and language therapists work with a wide age group of individuals ranging from infants to the elderly. The clientele includes:

  • Babies and children with feeding difficulties (for example, premature babies, children with cerebral palsy).
  • Children with various speech and language disorders.
  • Children with autism and other learning difficulties.
  • Hearing impaired children.
  • Adults with speech, language and / or swallowing problems later.
  • Stroke or brain injury.
  • Brain tumors.
  • Degenerative neurological diseases (eg, Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, dementia , etc.)
  • Head and neck cancers.

What are the drawbacks of speech therapy?

There are concerns of a practical nature that must be considered, speech and language therapy is very time consuming for both parent and child, it is not enough to have one session, the session lessons must be carried out throughout the week, At home and in the community, this can add to stress in a family already trying to cope with a child’s therapy routine.

Also, speech therapy may seem to promise more than it can deliver. Often pathologists must work to select an appropriate communication mode for a child, although speech is the most desirable option, some children may not easily acquire intelligible vocal speech and therefore other communication systems should be considered. This can be difficult for parents to accept.

In the case of private speech therapy, cost can be a concern because a significant percentage of private health insurance plans do not cover the therapy or only cover it for specific conditions. It is very important to check with your health plan about your benefits for speech therapy.

Types of speech therapy services for children

Common types of services children need include:

  • Speech and language therapy for young children with delayed speech development.
  • Speech therapy for apraxia, the difficulty in producing certain sounds and syllables.
  • Speech therapy for stuttering.
  • Speech therapy for aphasia, which is difficulty with expressing language and understanding due to a brain injury.
  • Therapy for difficulty swallowing.

When should a child start speech therapy?

It is recommended that children begin therapy along with their early intervention program as soon as they are diagnosed with autism and may be before they are three years old. The earlier the speech therapy treatment begins, the greater the impact. A child who has ongoing therapy is going to be more receptive and see even better results.

Two-thirds of children with autism who undergo speech therapy see an improvement in their communication skills.

What are some of the methods that speech therapists use?

There are many different methods used by therapists but the most used will depend on the particular speech or language challenge.

For articulation problems, for example, speech therapists at medical centers may work “inside the mouth” using popsicle sticks, fingers, whistles, straws, and other items to help the child control the muscles of the mouth, tongue, and teeth. throat.

When doing therapy with children, motivation can be an obstacle, as talking games, memory cards , toys, hand puppets, and boosters of all kinds can be used to keep sessions on track and encourage children. to work harder.

If a child has difficulty saying words that begin with “b”, the therapist may suggest daily practice with a list of “b” words, increasing in difficulty as each list is mastered. Other types of exercises help children master the social skills involved in communication by teaching them to hold their heads up, maintain eye contact, and repeat themselves when misunderstood.

What activities are carried out in speech therapy?

Although your child’s speech-language pathologist will do most of the work, your child can greatly benefit from doing therapy activities at home with you. By accelerating his progress, you can see him overcome his disorder and even sooner. So without further ado, here are some of the common speech therapy activities and techniques your child might use, keep in mind that every child is different, so be sure to consult your therapist about the best activities.

Sensory feedback

It is an essential technique because it helps your child become more aware of the sounds you are making and how you are making them. For example, the pathologist could use auditory feedback, he could record a sample of your child’s vocalizations and play them back, then play back a recording of the same sounds, pronounced correctly, so that you could hear the difference. Your child may also benefit from visual feedback or watching himself or others make sounds.

Tactile feedback is also essential, proper articulation requires correct placement of the tongue and other oral structures but it can be difficult to instruct a child to position their tongue in a certain way.

Articulation of speech and language therapy activities

In addition to tactile feedback, your child’s therapist will use other activities for articulation and help him pronounce certain sounds, the therapist could clearly say a word and ask your child to repeat it, this will be done several times to give him a lot of practice.

Oral motor therapy techniques

Some language disorders are characterized by poor manipulation of the oral motor muscles, this can not only interfere with your child’s speech, but also with his swallowing and feeding abilities. Oral motor exercises and facial massage can be used to improve muscle tone.

The therapist could also work on introducing foods of various textures and temperatures in order to increase oral awareness. Oral motor therapy techniques generally emphasize speech therapy activities that match movements with sounds. For example, your child may be asked to pay close attention to the roundness of his lips while making the “sh” sound.

How does speech therapy help children?

Helps the child develop the ability to express his wants and needs. Children with autism may have a hard time exchanging ideas with others, and this can be difficult for them, their peers, and their family.

Understand what they are being told: It can be difficult for a child with autism to understand the verbal and non-verbal communication signals that people use, and this can cause the child to misunderstand what you are saying.

Developing friendships: Children with autism may find that challenges in communicating with others can make developing friendships more difficult, speech therapy helps a child’s overall sense of happiness and well-being grow by being able to form deeper ties to peers.

Communicate clearly: Another aspect of autism is difficulty articulating words and meaning, and that in turn can make it difficult for those close to the child to understand them. Speech therapy helps children articulate words and sentences more clearly, and this helps them participate in the larger community.

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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.

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