Speech therapy is a helpful tool for assessing and treating several speech disorders and communication problems that can affect children and adults. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) help patients develop comprehension, clarity, voice, fluency and sound skills through speech therapy. Childhood speech disorders and adult speech impairments caused by stroke, brain injuries or other conditions can be treated.

When it comes to understanding speech therapy and the opportunities it offers for patients, it’s
important to get the low-down on frequently asked questions. Here is a guide to some of those key questions about speech therapy.

Why do people need speech therapy?

In short, people need speech therapy to improve communication, swallowing difficulties and other disorders. Some of these include:

  • Articulation
    This refers to trouble with pronunciation where someone can misplace or distort sounds in words.
  • Fluency
    Fluency disorders, like stuttering, impact a person’s rate of flow, rhythm or speech.
  • Dysarthria and Aphasia
    These two disorders affect individuals who have had a stroke. Dysarthria happens when the facial muscles are uncontrolled during speech. A person with dysarthria can appear to have slurred, strained or strangled speech. On the other hand, aphasia affects a person’s ability to understand language through reading, writing or verbal communication.
  • Receptive, Expressive and Social Communication Difficulties
    These communication difficulties revolve around trouble with comprehension of what others say, conveying oneself using language and learning to adjust language for different social situations.

What is Speech Therapy Like?

For children, most speech therapy sessions take place in a one-on-one setting, classroom or small group. The exercises vary according to a child’s age and present issues. For adults, speech therapy often takes place in a one-on-one setting. Exercises for adults focus on swallowing, speaking, language and cognitive communication.

Where Can Speech Therapy Be Accessed?

Many public hospitals, private practices, community services, schools and home-based services are available. All of these options are beneficial for patients, but the best fit will depend on the care a patient needs, cost limitations, appointment frequency and preferred services. Franciscan Health offers speech therapy for kids and adults who are looking for help. Visit the Franciscan Health website for more information.

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