What is SPEECH THERAPY?
Speech therapy is an intervention service that focuses on improving a child's speech and abilities to understand and express language, including nonverbal language. Speech therapy includes two components:
1) coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences (to address articulation, fluency, and voice volume regulation);
2) understanding and expressing 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 media, computers, and iPads). In addition, the role of Speech therapist in treating swallowing disorders has broadened to include all aspects of feeding.
How Speech Therapy Works
Speech therapist figure out what kind of language problem a student has. They determine what’s causing it and decide on the best treatment. Speech therapist may help kids build skills by working with them one-on-one, in small groups, or in the classroom.
Speech Therapist can help with:
- Articulation problems:Not speaking clearly and making errors in sounds.
- Fluency problems:Trouble with the flow of speech, such as stuttering.
- Resonance or voice problems:Trouble with voice pitch, volume and quality.
- Oral feeding problems:Difficulty with eating, swallowing and drooling.
Speech Therapy can help treat:
- Receptive languageproblems: Trouble understanding (receiving) language.
- Expressive languageproblems: Trouble speaking (expressing) language.
- Pragmatic language problems:Trouble using language in socially appropriate ways.
Speech therapist use strategies tailored for each child’s particular challenge. Strategies might include:
- Language intervention activities:These activities build skills in a variety of ways, including modeling and giving kids feedback. The therapist might use pictures and books or play-based therapy. She may also use language drills to practice skills.
- Articulation therapy:The Speech therapist models the sounds the child has difficulty with. This might include demonstrating how to move the tongue to create specific sounds.
- Feeding and swallowing therapy:The Speech therapist the child exercises to strengthen the muscles of the mouth. This might include facial massage and various tongue, lip and jaw exercises. She might also use different food textures to encourage awareness during eating and swallowing.
The Benefits of Speech Therapy
Speech therapy can help kids learn to speak more clearly. This helps them feel more confident and less frustrated about speaking to others. Kids who have language issues can benefit socially, emotionally and academically from speech therapy.
For kids with reading issues such as dyslexia, speech therapy can help them hear and distinguish specific sounds in words: the word bat breaks down into b, a, and t sounds. This can improve reading comprehension skills and encourage kids to read.
Speech therapy is especially beneficial when kids begin early in life. In one study, 70 percent of preschool kids with language issues who went through speech therapy showed improvement in language skills.