A method of treating speech disorders caused by a variety of factors, including mental retardation, hearing loss, emotional problems, pronunciation problems or stuttering, autism, brain trauma, and the sequelae of neurological disorders such as epilepsy and stroke. In particular, speech therapy is used to improve the language skills of children with speech delays, who have fewer words and concepts to express, and whose sentences are shorter, simpler, and less contextually appropriate than those of normal children.
In the case of speech therapy for adults, it is often associated with brain damage or neurological abnormalities, and in these cases, language acquisition has already occurred, so the treatment is mainly based on the concept of rehabilitation, such as muscle exercises to correct pronunciation or naming objects. In other words, speech therapy is a specialized treatment and education to facilitate communication for children and adults who have difficulty adapting to society due to general communication problems such as language development delays, stuttering, articulation disorders, etc.
The timing of treatment varies widely depending on the cause and the difference between the actual age of the child and the expected level of language acquisition at that age, but it is generally accepted that the earlier a child is identified and treated, the better the response to treatment. There is no such thing as a cure in speech and language therapy, and the response to treatment is usually better in cases of psychological problems that do not have an underlying medical condition.
After a speech evaluation and consultation about the child’s language level, the therapist will choose the right treatment for the child and begin treatment.
Before the procedure, a speech test is performed to determine the nature of the patient”s problem, and an accurate diagnosis is the most important part of the treatment. Each individual has a different set of disorders that need to be assessed in order to set treatment goals.
The goal of treatment is to improve communication. For example, if you have an articulation/phonological disorder, where you pronounce “radio” as “adio” or “give me a potato” as “go”, you will be given systematic pronunciation exercises to correct this. In the case of stuttering as a fluency disorder, the process involves modeling and practicing a more relaxed way of speaking rather than using fast, long sentences.
In addition, children with severe neurological paralysis or severe limitations in vocalization and articulation may find it difficult to correct oral language, so complementary and alternative forms of communication are developed. It also involves practicing fine motor skills so that the movements of the vocalization and articulation organs are precise. It’s common for speech therapy to be play-based, which means that the child needs to be interested in the therapy before it can be effective.
In adults, speech disorders often occur after language acquisition has already taken place and are usually acquired. Therefore, in this case, the goal is to increase the mobility of the oral articulatory system to improve speech intelligibility, or to train listening, comprehension, and naming of objects.
Depending on the child’s cognitive development, each session can last between 30 minutes and an hour.
There are no special precautions.
The minimum duration of treatment is 6 months, and it is recommended that the duration of treatment be determined in consultation with the parent or guardian, with regular evaluations every 6 months or so during the treatment period. (There is no such thing as a clear-cut change over time; the course of treatment depends on the patient’s specific problem.)
The course of treatment varies greatly depending on the cause of the speech impairment and is closely related to the age at which treatment is initiated. In children, it is believed that the earlier the disorder is detected and treated, the more effective the treatment will be.