Speech and language matter!
Your loved one’s ability to communicate with others and express their needs is essential for helping them gain independence, enjoy meaningful relationships, and feel successful within the context of their own lives.
When your loved one has a mental or physical health condition that impacts the way they speak, think, and communicate, speech therapy can be an invaluable resource. Speech therapy can also help children and adults in other ways, too! Keep reading to learn more.
Understanding Speech Therapy
Speech therapy is a specialized area of health care that helps people improve their language, cognition, and oral motor function skills. These skills include:
- Speaking, including vocal clarity, voice, fluency, and sound production
- Comprehension and communication, including verbal, non-verbal, and written communication
- Eating, including feeding and swallowing
People who provide speech therapy are known as speech therapists or speech language pathologists. Speech therapists receive specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of acquired and congenital conditions that can impact the way a person thinks, speaks, and/or eats. This includes conditions like:
- Down syndrome
- Cerebral palsy
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Traumatic brain injury
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cleft lip and palate
- Sensory processing disorders
How Speech Therapy Helps Individuals and Their Loved Ones
Speech therapy provided in individual or group settings can help people by:
- Increasing the strength, endurance, and coordination of muscles involved in speaking, eating, and swallowing
- Improving sensory and motor input shared between the brain and body
- Increasing language learning and comprehension
- Increasing self-care activities like medication management, organization, and money management
- Implementing adaptations, modifications, and compensatory strategies and tools to improve communication and feeding, such as built-up utensils, augmentative communication devices, and signing or gestures
The specific techniques that speech therapists use to achieve these objectives are as diverse as the adults and children who receive them, and can range from oral motor and breathing exercises to games and audio recordings.
For enhanced benefits, speech therapists often work in collaboration with other providers, including occupational therapists, dietitians, and educators.
Clues That You or a Loved One Could Benefit From Speech Therapy
Have you ever wondered if you or someone you love should see a speech therapist? Here are some questions that can help you decide if you should get a referral to speech therapy:
- Do I/they have a hard time pronouncing words correctly?
- Do others have a hard time understanding me/them?
- Do I/they struggle to remember things and stay organized?
- Do I/they struggle to make decisions or solve problems?
- Do I/they have difficulty swallowing certain foods or beverages, or have an unusual aversion to certain foods and beverages?
- Do I/they have a health condition affecting thinking, swallowing, and/or speaking?
Are You Ready to Try Speech Therapy?
Our multidisciplinary team at Therapeutic Potentials, Inc. proudly serve adults and children from Sarasota, FL and nearby communities, including Lakewood Ranch and Bradenton. If you’re looking for speech therapy near Sarasota, call us today at 941-758-3140 to schedule an initial evaluation.