What to Expect From a Speech Therapy?

Have you ever wondered how speech therapy works and what it does to a patient? The world has changed so much that the majority of parents hear that their little ones need speech therapy. If a child is not reaching the speech milestones at an expected pace, most speech therapy centers in Chennai recommend seeking help from a speech therapist to improve their condition. If you are one among them, you must be facing anxiety, not knowing what speech therapy does and how it works. Keep reading to get a real explanation of speech therapy treatment procedures.

Briefing on Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is the treatment of communication, speech, and language disorders. Speech-language pathologists perform it, also referred to as speech therapists. They work to assess, diagnose and treat speech problems, language disorders, social communication disabilities, swallowing issues, and cognitive-communication disabilities in both children and adults.

Speech therapists work with people of various ages and abilities. When a child is born with a condition and requires extra support, SLPs can help those kids meet their speech and language milestones. They can also treat communication disabilities developed after an illness or accident. Speech therapists provide the best speech therapy to treat the following areas:

  • Voice
  • Speech
  • Fluency
  • Feeding
  • Language
  • Social communication
  • Swallowing

Nature of Speech Therapy Sessions

1. Speech Therapy Is Fun & Play-based

Speech therapy for children is playing with a purpose. For a parent, it might look like the child is playing most of the time during the session, but they learn so many things during the play-based approach. The more fun a child has in speech therapy, the more they will be engaged throughout the session. By repeating a few things, the engagements turn out to be meaningful, with tremendous improvements in the speech and language of the child. Speech therapists use play to help kids resolve speech issues as play:

  • Serves as the mode of learning for toddlers
  • Builds a connection between the child and the therapist
  • Allows kids to understand new concepts
  • Makes children practice what they learned at the session at home later
  • Accomplishes language goals

Also Read: Who Are Speech-Language Pathologists?

2. Speech Therapy is Goal-oriented

Speech therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The therapist will assess every patient or child and determine their needs and strengths. Then they create an individualized plan with goals to accomplish throughout their entire treatment schedule. Therapists of reputed speech therapy centers in Chennai believe that breaking down big goals into small manageable parts will develop a better foundation for the patient to acquire skills and enhance their learning process. For example, if the goal is communicating needs and wants and the child is not yet imitating gestures, the step-wise procedure to treat them will be:

  1. Making the child imitate physical movements like waving, knocking, and clapping.
  2. Encouraging the child to imitate sounds like beep, moo, etc.
  3. Motivating the kid imitate real words.
  4. Teaching them to use words by themselves to communicate their wants.

Who Needs Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy is effective and beneficial for adults and kids with communication disorders. People with hearing impairments or difficulty swallowing also benefit from speech therapy. Thus, the other patients who must seek help from speech therapists are:

  1. Aphasia- Patients suffering from aphasia have difficulty writing, speaking, understanding language, and reading. Speech therapy will be able to develop the brain areas that are damaged and process the language.
  2. Apraxia- People with apraxia have trouble forming words and may have difficulty reading, swallowing, writing, and performing actions using motor skills.
  3. Articulation disorders- People with articulation disorders find it difficult to pronounce certain word sounds. They might substitute a particular sound with another due to the inability to say them. In this case, early intervention speech therapies will help resolve the problem.
  4. Cognitive-communication disorders- If the part of the brain that controls thinking gets damaged, it will result in communication difficulties. Therefore, patients with cognitive-communication disorders will have problems speaking, listening, problem-solving, and memorizing.

The other problems requiring speech therapy to ease their symptoms are expressive disorders, dysarthria, fluency disorders, resonance disorders, and receptive disorders. Most of the leading speech therapy centers in Chennai treat patients with the above conditions effectively with the best speech therapy program.

How Does Speech Therapy Work?

When you start speech therapy, you will face many mixed emotions and anxiety. If you know how it works, it will be easy to cope with the treatment procedure.

Step 1- Speech Assessment

The first step is speech assessment or evaluation. The SLP will determine whether the patient will need speech therapy. If they need one, then the therapist will create a plan.

Step 2- Individualized Plan

An individualized or personalized plan is the next step after the therapist thoroughly assesses the child. By understanding the patient's strengths and weaknesses, the therapist will develop a unique schedule. The speech therapy plan they create will serve as a roadmap and make the patients work towards their goals.

Step 3- Speech Therapy Sessions

After the goals are decided, the speech therapy sessions go as per plan. As a standard norm, the speech therapy sessions last between 30 to 60 minutes and are organized once or twice every week. If you still think speech therapy to be intimidating, keep reminding yourself that all the sessions are toddler-friendly and play-based, and therefore it is filled with fun.

Step 4- Caregiver Support

Miraculous results can come your way if the speech therapist and child bond well. Furthermore, what is more important is the support rendered by the patient's family in developing their communications skills at home by following the speech therapy techniques taught by the therapist. Thus, it simply means that the patient, their family, and the SLP must work together. The finest speech therapy programs in Chennai and other metropolitan cities focus more on the bonding process so that everything else falls in place.

The Bottom-line
The best time to start speech therapy is based on the child and the types of milestones they have met. JOGO's digital therapeutics clinics in Chennai suggest that the earlier you start the process, the better results you will see as early intervention will always positively affect the child's abilities and skills.

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