In speech-language therapy, your therapist works with you to improve your language and communication skills, and helps you learn new ways to express yourself both verbally and in writing.
Issues with written or verbal communication can impact your performance at work or school, and may make it difficult for you to form and maintain relationships. Learning disabilities or speech impediments that have not been addressed can have a negative effect on your life in adulthood.
Through speech-language therapy, you can learn techniques that can help you become a more confident speaker and engage with other people, both verbally and in writing, with confidence. If you are recovering from an injury, speech-language therapy can help you recover lost communication skills.
Speech-language therapy is commonly used to treat children, but it can also be beneficial to adults, especially those recovering from a traumatic brain injury or living with dementia. Some of the more common conditions and situations in which speech-language therapy is used include:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Intellectual disabilities
- Recovery from an accident or injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Dementia and memory problems
- Extreme shyness
- Dyspraxia or dyslexia
- Stuttering, stammering, or other speech difficulties
- Impaired communication skills
- Hearing disorders or deafness
Speech-language pathologists can help you address issues such as:
- Speech sounds and articulation - trouble speaking and expressing
- How you understand what you read and hear - difficulty understanding language
- Stuttering or using "um" and "uh" frequently
- Chewing, swallowing, and other feeding issues
- Thinking skills such as memory, organization, and attention
A speech-language pathologist will work closely with the rest of your care team to help you achieve your therapy goals. This kind of therapy takes time - learning new ways to think about language and words and achieving positive results in improved communication may take several months or several years.