Speech therapy is a type of physical therapy that addresses everything from verbal pronunciation issues to swallowing problems. It is most often employed in children who have speech and communication challenges, but it can also help people who have suffered a brain injury and must relearn how to speak and eat.
If your child has language or speech issues, sessions with a speech pathologist could greatly benefit the child. Children who have been diagnosed with autism, are hearing-impaired, have weak mouth muscles, or have swallowing disorders are often recommended to have speech therapy by their physician.
If you are considering speech therapy for yourself or your child, here’s what you can generally expect from speech therapy and who you can talk to about this special type of medical therapy.
What Does a Speech Pathologist Do?
A speech pathologist also referred to as a speech therapist, is specially trained in treating disorders involving communication, swallowing, language, and the voice. This type of therapist is experienced in working with people who have difficulty producing speech sounds and moving the mouth and throat muscles.
When addressing issues of speech, this therapist can help the patient with articulation, rhythm, fluency, and pitch. The therapist can also help older patients who have cognitive and neurological issues, such as those involving attention, memory, and problem-solving.
When choosing a speech pathologist, be sure to choose one who has a certificate of clinical competency (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) to ensure that the therapist is fully educated and state-certified in this specialty.
What Happens During Speech Therapy?
No two speech therapy programs are alike, as it depends on the patient’s specific challenge – but the following are some of the basic factors that are included in this type of therapy:
Playing, reading, using picture books and objects to stimulate language development, and using repetition exercises and drills are often employed to help improve pronunciation of words. The therapist will assist the patient in developing language and vocal skills.
The speech pathologist will model the sounds that you or your child has difficulty with, which are often the “W,” “R,” and “L” letter sounds. The therapist will demonstrate the proper placement of the tongue in the palate to produce the right sound.
Feeding and Swallowing Therapy
The speech therapist will teach mouth, tongue, and jaw exercises in order to strengthen the weak muscles in the mouth and throat, particularly for children who have difficulty swallowing. In addition, the therapist will also demonstrate how to eat foods of different textures to promote awareness in eating and swallowing.
Speech Therapy Services in Wooster, OH
Speech therapy doesn’t end after each session. As a parent, you are encouraged to assist your child in their exercises between therapy sessions. Be patient and have fun with your child as you practice sounds and mouth-movements together.
At Wooster Community Hospital’s HealthPoint facility, we provide speech therapy classes and programs for speech, language, and mouth function issues. We are a team of highly qualified and compassionate professionals who are here to help not just children but also adults who are experiencing speech problems – such as those who have been diagnosed with a stroke, multiple sclerosis, dementia, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), or Parkinson’s disease.
For more information about our speech therapy services, call Wooster Community Hospital today at (330) 202-3300 or request an appointment via our online form now. We look forward to being your family’s healthcare partner for a lifetime of good health!