What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is a type of therapy that helps children, adults and even the elderly improve their language and communication skills. It is beneficial for those with language delays, hearing disabilities, autism and other developmental and learning disabilities. Speech-language pathologists, or SLPs, use various strategies to help their clients understand, interpret and use language.
Speech therapy is beneficial for all children, including those with hearing or other physical impairments and those who do not have impairments but are having difficulty with language skills or communication. Speech and language therapy helps children learn new words, create sentences and understand others’ language, as well as develop enhanced listening and attention skills. Speech therapy can help children with language development delays reach their communication goals, and can help improve classroom performance.
What Speech Therapists Do
SLPs are trained to assess, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders. They can develop an individual treatment plan for each patient, and plan activities that target the patient’s specific needs. Speech therapists can provide individual therapy sessions and group sessions, and may also provide family education and support.
Some of the techniques used in speech-language therapy include:
- Auditory-verbal therapy
- Visual-verbal therapy
- Sign language
- Augmentative and alternative communication
- Auditory integration training
- Oral motor therapy
- Voice therapy
How Speech Therapy Can Help With Language Development and Health
Speech therapy can help children to use language more effectively in school, at home and in social settings. Children who have difficulty using language can have an improved sense of self-worth, leading to improved academic performance, increased confidence and better overall health. Speech therapy can also reduce the severity and risk of developmental delays, such as autism and Asperger’s syndrome, helping to ensure that a child has the best chance at reaching their potential. Speech therapy can also help adults improve communication skills, allowing them to better interact with others and make healthier connections.
Speech therapy is an important part of language development, and can lead to improved health for children and adults. With the help of a speech-language pathologist, those with language delays and hearing impairments can improve their communication skills and connect better with their environment. If your child is having difficulty with language development, or if you believe that speech therapy may be beneficial, contact a qualified SLP for an assessment.
Keywords: Speech Therapy, Language Development, Kids, Health, Speech-Language Pathologist, Hearing Impairments, Autism, Asperger’s syndrome.