Speech therapy is treatment for problems with speaking, language, and swallowing provided by a speech therapist, also called a speech-language pathologist (SLP). Speech therapy helps those individuals with problems to use their voice properly and make the right sounds. It helps people understand language and express themselves. Speech therapy can also help a person learn to swallow properly.
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy, or speech and language therapy, is treatment for problems with speaking, language, and swallowing. A person who provides treatment is called a speech therapist or speech-language pathologist.
Speech therapy helps the following:
- Speech problems including problems making the right sound or using the voice fully without straining.
- Language and communication problems including problems understanding others, expressing oneself, or socially interacting.
- Swallowing and feeding problems which are are problems using the muscles in the mouth and throat to swallow.
There are many diagnosable speech disorders that we can help treat.
How to get the best results with Speech Therapy
Speech therapy can take time the length of which will depend on many factors. There are better outcomes with speech when an individual:
- attends their sessions regularly
- wants to improve their speech
- has the motivation or is externally motivated to improve speech
- practices daily to reinforce what is learned
- gets encouragement and support from family
- does not have myofunctional disorders or other issues
What are the benefits?
Communication is important! A person with the ability to express themselves, understand, and make connections with others will have a better chance at success in life.
- Improve verbal communications skills
- Become confident and more successful at school and work
- Improve self-esteem and boost confidence
- Avoid anxiety that comes with speaking and not being understood
- Gain the ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally
- Enhance social skills
- Prevent injury or overuse of the vocal cords or heal an injury
- Learn to properly swallow food
How do I prepare for my first visit?
To prepare for your first speech therapy appointment:
- Fill out our intake form which we like to receive at least 48 hours prior to your visit
- Verify your insurance coverage includes coverage for speech evaluations and/or therapy
- Write down the speech or language problems your have noticed
- Write down your questions about the problem
- Write down any particular goals you want to get out of therapy
- Come ready to learn and do the daily work of speech therapy
What can I expect?
A speech therapist usually meets one-on-one with a patient about once a week. The speech therapist may do any of the following:
- Teach new ways of breathing and speaking to use the voice better
- Teach exercises for using the lips, tongue, and other muscles in the mouth and throat
- Help with learning new words
- Help with organizing thoughts or improving memory
- For severe cases, provide instruction on using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) methods
- In some cases, identify structural issues that may be preventing an individual from overcoming a speech difficulty
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