Speech is the primary method of communication for most people. The ability to choose the correct words and articulate them properly is vital if you want to be understood. If you experience difficulties with speaking, speech therapy can help you. Speech therapy is offered by a speech pathologist who can identify the cause of your speaking troubles and prescribe exercises to correct it. Here are four things you will be offered at a speech therapy center:
1. Age Appropriate Assistance
It's common for speech therapy to begin during childhood. Children born with autism, Down syndrome and other disorders that affect the brain may have trouble communicating. Kids with stutters or lisps may also benefit from speech therapy. Speech pathologists are trained to help people of all ages. Children will be treated with techniques suited to their developmental level. A speech therapist will use toys, books, and playtime to help your child build their speaking skills. Gentle reinforcement and consistent practice will allow your child to make progress.
2. Practice Shaping Sounds
When you speak, you use your mouth to create sounds. The position of your lips, teeth, and tongue allows you to form words that are intelligible to others. Weak oral muscles or poor coordination can make it difficult to say words correctly. In speech therapy, you can practice making all the sounds necessary for speech. Your speech therapist will listen to your practice and provide gentle correction when needed.
3. Social Skills Exercises
Effective communication also involves understanding how and when to use your speech. People with speech difficulties sometimes develop social phobias as a result. A speech therapist can help you work on your social skills, as well. Basic conversational scripts can teach you good ways to respond in common social situations. Having a script to rely on can take a lot of the pressure off when you're interacting with others. When you feel more relaxed, it will be easier to implement everything you learned in speech therapy, so you can communicate effectively.
To make fast progress, you'll need to continue working on your speech outside the speech therapy center. Your speech therapist will give you homework to complete between speech therapy sessions. You may be given physical exercises to perform with your lips, teeth, and tongue, which will allow you to continue developing strength. Patients with cognitive-based speech disorders may be given assignments designed to strengthen the connection between speech and thoughts. Completing all your homework will ensure you're ready for your next speech therapy appointment.