Speech therapy is not just for articulation, it involves much more than just proper pronunciation. It also helps people in overcoming problems in communication in areas of language, fluency, voice and oral motor/ swallowing. It helps people in improving their communication skills and makes them able to express their wants and needs effectively.
Different kinds of speech therapy are defined and explained below:
- Articulation therapy: This therapy helps in learning pronunciation of sounds and improving speech intelligibility. Articulation therapy is done in steps and follows a specific process. The first step consists of auditory training and or being able to hear different sounds. The next step taken, is to be able to pronounce these sounds in isolation then in words and then in sentences.
- Language therapy: This therapy is used to treat receptive language and expressive language or both. Receptive language includes skills related to following directions and recognizing pictures. Training of making request and naming object are included in expressing language activities.
- Voice therapy: Voice therapy treats problems related to the voice. If the voice of a person sounds hoarse or rough or there is no voice at all then this therapy is done. Voice disorders can be caused by trauma or illness.
- Oral motor/swallowing therapy: This therapy teaches a person to use and strengthen the muscles in the mouth that help with production of speech and swallowing food and drink. Muscles used for swallowing and speech may become weak due to illness or injury and so they have to be well tended to as well.
A speech language pathologist (SLP) is the one who provides speech therapy to people of all ages, adults or children. They help in regaining or improving the communication skills of their client. The therapy can take a long time or can be a therapy of short period, depending on the severity of the patient
Speech and language therapists work in these areas
- Hospital wards
- Community health center
- Day centers
- Clients homes
- Young offenders institutions
- Independent or private practice
- Outpatient departments
- Mainstream and special schools
- Children’s center
Speech language therapist treats
- Children with learning difficulties, language delay, language impairment, cleft palate, stammering, voice disorders, hearing impairment and dyslexia.
- Adults with learning difficulties, stammering, physical disabilities, hearing impairment, head, neck or throat cancer, mental health issues and voice problems.
Besides, you can also visit a speech therapist to improve your communication skills further.