Speech is an expression of thoughts and feelings using articulate sounds. A speech disorder or communication disorder is when normal speech is disrupted and communication using spoken words is blocked.
Speech therapy is the assessment and treatment of communications problems and speech disorders. Speech-language pathologists treat disorders that affect the entire communication system, including brain, mouth, voice box, and sometimes the lungs.
Here are 3 things to know about speech therapy.
1. Early Intervention is Key
Developmental speech delays can surface as early as three months old. Sometimes a speech-related problem is overlooked as a “cute quirk” or other medical conditions can distract focus. Early intervention can improve communication and boost self-confidence.
The first step of treatment should occur in the early stages of recovery. For a patient in a coma, this could be as simple as a speech therapist getting a general response to sensory stimulation.
2. It is Not Just for Children
When you think of speech therapy, you might think a child with a lisp, but that is only one aspect of what a speech-language pathologist can help treat.
Speech therapy for adults may be necessary for events like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or brain injury. Accidents that cause jaw, throat, or facial structure injury can also lead to a speech delay.
Speech therapy exercises for adults may involve activities to improve breathing, strengthen oral muscles, or improve social and cognitive communication.
3. Length of Treatment Varies
Some speech disorders begin in childhood and improve with age. Others continue into adulthood and require long-term therapy and maintenance.
The amount of time needed depends on age, type and severity of speech disorder, frequency of therapy, and underlying medical conditions.
Whether it is a child or adult needing speech therapy, an initial evaluation by a speech-language pathologist is needed to determine the treatment plan.
Independence Health & Therapy in Woodstock offers speech therapy programs for all ages. Their focus is always on helping individuals enhance their quality of life.
For more information about our programs, please Contact Us!