Speech Therapy – What is it?
Speech therapy is a psycho-pedagogical science discipline, which deals with studying and developing speech patterns, in order to prevent and correct all related disorders. It can help people with autism improve verbal, nonverbal, and social communication. It generally aims to help the individual communicate in more useful and functional ways.
Speech therapy is useful in the following cases:
- Language disorder research
- Checking for language deviations that make speech difficult
- Breathing problems
- Chewing problems
- Their detection and correction
- Their prevention
Speech and communication challenges vary from person to person. Some people on the autistic spectrum cannot talk. Others enjoy talking, but have difficulties organizing conversation, or comprehending nonverbal communication when talking to others.
Speech therapy programs start with a complete evaluation from a speech therapist, in order to assess strengths and weaknesses in the individual’s communication skills. From this initial evaluation, the speech therapist establishes individual goals from for the sessions.
When talking about children, the therapeutic process takes place through games. They are relaxing, entertaining activities, which also allow for close observation of the child’s development and evolution.
In adults, things tend to get more complicated, but the rate of efficiency is greatly increased.
Common objectives between patients could include improving speech patterns, learning nonverbal skills like hand signs and gestures, or apprehending alternate ways of communicating (like images or technology)
Language disorders can be:
- Pronunciation disorders (impaired pronunciation of one or more sounds: dyslalia, dysarthria, rhinolalia)
- Rhythm and fluency disorders (stuttering, bradylalia, tachylalia, logo-neurosis)
- Voice disorders (aphonia, dysphonia and phonoasthenia)
- Reading-writing language disorders (dyslexo-dysgraphia, , alexia and agraphia)
- Polymorphic disorders (aphasia and alalia)
- Developmental language disorders (psychogenic mutism, delay in general speech development, verbal dysfunction associated with childhood autism or intellectual disability and hearing impairment)
- Disorders associated with psychopathological or psychiatric conditions (echolalia)
Additionally, they can work on coaching children and adults on communicating in various contexts. You learn how to communicate with friends, partners, within a workplace, and many more.
Food and drink consumption challenges
They can assess the problem a person is facing and provide treatment plans to help combat feeding-related challenges.
The therapeutic process doesn’t only involve the child-therapist relationship. Therapy is only fruitful when what is learned within sessions is exercised as much as possible. From this point of view, it is imperative that all of the child’s caretakers help them with this task;
- Family: knowing the attitude of the family members towards the speech deficiency, changing the attitude of the family in a favorable direction towards correcting the child;
- Educators or teachers: recovery and correction of the child’s language in a context other than the therapeutic or family ones;
- Other significant people for the child with whom he interacts: older brothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends;
The efficiency, as well as the duration of the speech therapy process, largely depends on the degree of involvement of all those who deal with the child’s education.