Speech Therapy: An Overview
One of the not so noticed areas of rehabilitation medicine is Speech Therapy. A lot of people may not even know that something like this exists. It may be that this is your first time encountering the field, or you may have heard it somewhere but don’t fully understand the practice.
The sad truth about Speech Therapy is that you may not encounter it unless the situation demands it. However, getting to know what the practice is can be very beneficial information.
What Is Speech Therapy?
As the name suggests, speech therapy deals with speech problems that an individual may encounter. However, the field of Speech Pathology doesn’t only tackle speech but also language and other communication problems that people may already have due to birth or acquired due to accidents or other misfortunes.
Speech therapy is a treatment that people of all ages can undergo to fix their speech. However, speech therapy alone would focus on fixing speech-related problems like treating one’s vocal pitch, volume, tone, rhythm, and articulation.
Goals Of Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy aims for an individual to develop or get back practical communication skills at their optimal level. Recovery mainly depends on the case and severity of your problem, mainly if your speech problem is acquired, meaning you had average speech skills before then you had an accident or abrupt incident that caused your current speech problem; thus, you may or may not get back your old level of speech function.
Speech problems are mainly categorized into three: Articulation Disorders, Resonance or Voice Disorders, and Fluency Disorders. Each disorder deals with a different pathology and uses different techniques for therapy.
Articulation Disorders are problems with physical features used for articulation. These features include lips, tongue, teeth, hard and soft palate, jaws, and inner cheeks. If you have an Articulation Disorder, you may have a problem producing words or syllables correctly to the point that people you communicate with can’t understand what you are saying.
Resonance or Voice Disorders
Resonance, more popularly known as Voice Disorders, mainly deal with problems regarding phonation or the production of the raw sound itself. You probably have a Voice Disorder when your larynx or voice box produces sounds muffled, nasal, intermittent, weak, too loud, or any other characteristic not about normal.
Fluency Disorders are speech problems with the fluency of your speech. There are some cases where you talk too fast, in which people can’t understand you. Thus, you have a Fluency Disorder of Cluttering. The most common Fluency Disorder, however, is Stuttering, which is a disorder of fluency where your speech is constantly interrupted by blocks, fillers, stoppages, repetitions, or sound prolongations.
Who Gives Speech Therapy?
A highly trained professional called an SLP, or a Speech and Language Pathologist, gives S Speech Therapy. Speech and Language Pathologists are informally more popularly known as Speech Therapists. They are professionals with education and training in human communication development and disorders.
Speech and Language pathologists assess, diagnose and treat people with speech, communication, and language disorders. However, they are not doctors but are considered to be specialists in the field of medical rehabilitation.