What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy offers support and treatment for those with speech difficulties and communication issues. The method is effective for addressing a variety of disorders in both adults and children. Speech is the use of intentional sounds to convey ideas.
A speech problem is a condition that makes it difficult for someone to communicate verbally. They might also be known as communication disorders. Learn more about speech therapy in the next paragraphs, along with the ailments it may help.
What Does Speech Therapy Mean?
Communication issues and speech abnormalities are evaluated and treated in speech therapy. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), sometimes known as speech therapists, are the ones who carry it out.
Techniques from speech therapy are utilized to enhance communication. Depending on the type of speech or language issue, they could include articulation therapy, language intervention exercises, and others. In addition, speech problems that appear in children or speech difficulties in adults brought on by an illness or accident, such as a brain injury or stroke, may require speech therapy.
What Does a Speech Therapist Do?
A speech therapist, often known as a speech-language pathologist, evaluates, diagnoses, and treats communication issues and disorders. For example, people with speech problems brought on by sickness or injury and children with developmental delays are treated by them. For several reasons, your doctor might recommend seeing a speech-language pathologist.
Common Speech Disorders Requiring Speech Therapy
Communication difficulties affect 40 million Americans. These illnesses impact your speech, vocalizations, and interpersonal communication. Speech production involves coordinating a variety of factors, such as:
- Thinking, remembering, and organizing your thoughts
- Listening and understanding what you hear
- Retrieving words
- Arranging words in the proper syntactic order
- Coordinating respiration and phonation to speak with adequate volume and vocal quality
- Using prosody and tone to convey an emotion
- Coordinating the speech mechanism to articulate desired sounds
Three of the most typical conditions your speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may assist with are listed below.
The neurological language condition aphasia can impair your ability to comprehend and use spoken or written language. Adults may have aphasia after brain damage from conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI), cerebrovascular accident (CVA), brain tumors, or other neurological illnesses.
Aphasia comes in a variety of forms with varying degrees of severity. Everybody has a different experience, and even a small problem can greatly influence one’s quality of life. The three types of aphasia that are most prevalent are Wernicke’s aphasia, which is fluent, and global aphasia. Depending on your diagnosis, you can have trouble understanding speech that is spoken too fast or within-group interaction. You might also have trouble retrieving words.
Another neurologically related speech issue is acquired apraxia, which can result from a degenerative illness like dementia or a neurological injury like a CVA. A motor speech problem called apraxia affects the brain’s ability to organize and sequence the motor motions required for speaking. As a result, the connection between preparing your tongue, lips, and jaw to perform the necessary movements and knowing what you want to say is broken.
Verbal apraxia symptoms include sluggish, labored speech, inconsistent speech faults, trouble starting sentences, problems with adding or missing sounds, and grasping (i.e., trying to move your lips, jaw, and tongue to make a particular sound but not quite being able to do so accurately).
Dysarthria is a motor speech disease that develops when brain injury causes the muscles needed for speaking to be uncoordinated or weak. Dysarthria can interfere with your breathing, phonation, and articulation, making it difficult to talk clearly and loudly.
This neurologically related speech issue may be brought on by multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s disease, CVA, Parkinson’s disease, or atypical Parkinsonism (MS). As a result, your speech may sound slurred, mumbled, too rapid, or too sluggish if you have dysarthria. In addition, due to their decreased intelligibility, people with dysarthria may find it challenging to engage in social activities like talking on the phone or meeting up with friends.
Speech Therapy Techniques
Your therapy’s approaches, strategies, and intensity all rely on various variables. Therefore, your doctor will administer a battery of exams on you so they can collect baseline data and better understand your requirements and aspirations. Your medical history, the strengths and weaknesses identified during the evaluation process, your receptivity to tried-and-true therapy procedures, and other factors that will affect your prognosis for recovery or progress will all be taken into account by your speech-language pathologist.
Then, they will devise a strategy to assist you in rebuilding your life, enhancing your delivery, or improving your communication. All of these programs leverage fundamental neuroplasticity and motor learning concepts, even if each area calls for various treatment approaches and dosage levels. Like anything in life, developing a new talent or reviving an old one requires practice, repetition, and salience.
You will receive specially designed workouts in a particular therapy setting (such as intense) to assist you in effectively achieving your unique objectives. To ensure that the progress you achieve in treatment can be applied to all facets of your daily life, you will practice them in a professional environment and as part of a regular home exercise program. The ultimate objective is to use your abilities from intense training or speech therapy in your work, relationships, and leisure activities.
Speech Therapy Exercises for Adults
When you leave an appointment for speech therapy, it doesn’t end. Follow whatever exercise advice your speech-language pathologist gives you for the best outcomes. Even if you’re frustrated, keep a pleasant attitude and be open to participating. Remember that your SLPs are there to share their knowledge and assist you in attaining your objectives. Each patient will receive a different set of exercises and speech treatment methods. Here are some instances of how exercises are included in a program to assist in the treatment of these different conditions:
Rehabilitation after a Stroke
After a stroke, your SLP may employ a mix of drill-based exercises and functional activities to help you talk, read, write, and comprehend better. This can involve cognitive activities like sentence generation tasks to enhance vocabulary and word recall, visualization methods to promote attention and memory, or vocal exercises to improve speaking clarity.
You may also engage in practical activities, like role-playing discussions or planning practical chores, to help restore your confidence in handling your professional and private obligations. Per person’s schedule will be different, but you can anticipate spending five to ten hours online and five to fifteen in person each week. The calendar provides advice for vital workouts, activities, rest, and relaxation for your unique program.
Improving Voice, Fluency, and Articulation
Here, the emphasis is on activities that improve your ability to talk properly and be understood. Numerous medical conditions, such as vocal cord lesions or muscular stress, can produce voice issues. You will undergo a thorough examination that looks at your breathing, voice, and speaking patterns that may be causing your diminished intelligibility after talking with you and your otolaryngologist/ENT about your particular symptoms and medical history.
Adult articulation therapy focuses on specific exercises to help you speak more clearly and be heard. Your SLP will identify the individual sounds that might use improvement during the first evaluation and will focus on producing those sounds in a hierarchy, starting with isolation and moving on to words, sentences, reading, and conversation. The development of conversational skills starts with simple interactions like greetings and “small chats.” Then, it progresses to more intricate discussions like those about the workplace.
Exercises that are aimed at stuttering or fluency issues are also an option. Find a “forward voice” using these resonant-based exercises to retain a powerful voice while releasing laryngeal strain. The main goals are finding the healthiest technique to phonate and advancing resonance in the oral cavity. Additionally, you can gain from more conventional fluency tactics like “easy onset,” which involves gradually drawing your vocal folds together while uttering words that start with a vowel to lessen harsh glottal assaults. These activities increase complexity from a basic sound to syllables, phrases, sentences, and conversations.
Enhancing Public-Speaking Abilities
People or workers in forward-looking jobs frequently desire to improve their service. You may increase the effectiveness of your message and learn how to captivate an audience with confidence by using certain strategies. For example, you can speak in front of groups without feeling nervous or hesitant. You will also improve your communication skills in meetings, speaking with clients, and giving presentations.
Exercises could involve reading strategies that involve changing your pace, intonation, and stress. By altering your overall delivery, these exercises will help you learn how to stress different elements of your message. Additionally, you can participate in role-playing exercises to practice for an upcoming meeting at work or a public speaking event.
Your SLP will work with you to enhance your intonation and coordination of speaking while also focusing on your perception of speech, accurate production of speech sounds that contribute to the accent, and accurate perception of speech sounds. By practicing individual sounds in isolation, you will eventually be able to produce sounds at the word level and in phrases, paragraphs, and dialogues. As you advance to the paragraph and conversational levels, they will assist you in changing the way you talk and improving your intonation, which will help you lose some of your accents.
How does Speech Therapy for Adults Works?
Adults can benefit from speech therapy in several different ways. The treatment you receive will depend on the origin of your speech problems and the goals you have for the procedure. Adult speech therapy treatment options frequently consist of:
- Target selection
- Contextual utilization
- Contrast therapy
- Oral-motor therapy
Target selection entails focusing on particular noises you might be having problems with. For instance, if you lisp when saying the letter “S,” your speech therapist could concentrate just on those sounds. If you stammer, your speech therapist may pinpoint the specific words or phrases that are the source of the problem and work on those.
Individual syllables are used as the context for speech activities in contextual usage. After a brain injury or degradation, word structures are frequently re-learned or reinforced by breaking them into easier-to-understand chunks.
Word pairs are used in contrast treatment to highlight distinctions. For example, during contrast treatment, a speech therapist could connect words like “dough” and “show” or “beat” and “feet.” Despite having distinct spellings, these words sound similar. Using these pairings to draw distinctions might be helpful with certain speech and language problems.
The face and mouth’s real muscles are used in oral-motor therapy to enhance language and communication abilities. Speech therapists provide tools and exercises that may be used to strengthen and fine-tune the muscles of the jaw, lips, tongue, and throat.
How Long Does Speech Therapy Last for Adults?
We have learned behaviors that affect how we talk and communicate like adults. However, getting these routines to feel second nature could take some practice. Motivation and practice intensity are the two elements that influence how soon you notice benefits from your particular program. Other considerations include the severity of your neurological impairment, thoughts or views about your communication challenges, and specific goals (such as retiring or recovering abilities for the workplace as an attorney).
For instance, taking part in a rigorous post-stroke program or a program for cognitive-communication difficulties with speech sessions four to five times a week for one or more hours each day together with a home exercise regimen would often result in considerable improvement in one month. After that, you can continue the program monthly until you achieve and surpass your objectives.
You may anticipate benefits from speech therapy within one to three months if you’re looking to enhance your voice, fluency, or public speaking abilities. After that, you can continue speech exercise sessions to fulfill your unique needs. Individual goals may differ.
Is Speech Therapy Effective?
According to several studies, speech therapy is a successful strategy for assisting both adults and children in improving their communication abilities. Research on more than 700 kids with speech or language impairments found that speech treatment significantly improved their abilities.
The findings indicate that communication performance improved after six months of speech treatment lasting an average of 6 hours. Over the same period, speech therapy was much more beneficial than no treatment.
In another research, the impact of speech therapy on persons with aphasia brought on by a stroke was examined. According to the findings, speech therapy can effectively address these communication problems. The research also demonstrates that intensive therapies have a stronger impact and emphasize their effectiveness in the early post-stroke period, usually the first six months.
Different research contends that aphasia patients may benefit from speech therapy. However, this study demonstrates how 16 speech therapy sessions spread over eight weeks increased communication abilities.
A Holistic Approach to Speech Therapy
The comprehensive approach used by Safe Hands in speech-language pathology means that you are treated as a singular individual with complex needs. At the highest levels, we realize that you have physical and cognitive-communication demands, such as a preference for thinking and interpreting language as opposed to speaking and swallowing.
Additionally, there are psychological and emotional factors to take into account. These inner moods or emotions can make or break your achievement. Whether it’s redefining who you are, getting well and going back to work, or improving your quality of life, our professionals successfully assist you in managing all these variables.
For Services and Assistance Visit: www.SafeHandsHHC.com