Social interaction, learning, and communication are critical to daily life. Whether through words, gestures, books, or even digitally, we communicate with other people and take on new information every day. Learning disabilities can impede forward progress and stifle communication for those who suffer from them. Many people with learning disabilities work with speech therapists to help them with difficulties in language and communication. Regular speech therapy can make learning and expressing themselves a lot easier.
Let us delve deeper into how speech therapy helps in overcoming learning disabilities.
What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is a form of treatment provided by a speech-language pathologist or SLP. An SLP or speech therapist is a medical professional with expertise in the diagnosing, and treatment of different speech, language, and communication disorders. They also work with people who have feeding and swallowing problems.
What Are Learning Disabilities?
Learning disabilities are caused by genetic and/or neurobiological factors that alter brain function. This altered brain function affects cognitive processes related to learning. These processing problems can interfere with learning the most basic skills, including reading, writing, and/or math. They can also interfere with other skills such as time planning, reasoning, long and short-term memory, and concentration. People often associate learning disabilities with the ability to learn at school, but the truth is that learning disabilities can affect an individual beyond academics and can affect one’s relationships with their friends and family and in the workplace.
Having learning disabilities does not mean that a person has a low IQ. Many people with learning disabilities have average or above-average intelligence. They only struggle with understanding and processing information through traditional means. Problems with reading, writing, and communication are often recognized in school, so these problems are often diagnosed in children. While childhood diagnosis is common, some people are diagnosed much later in life and for some, the problem is never addressed, leaving these individuals to wonder why they struggle with learning or comprehension. Unfortunately, while learning disabilities can be treated, they cannot be cured. The good news, however, is that with support and treatment, people with learning disabilities can be quite successful in school and in life.
Here are common learning difficulties we often see in people with learning disabilities:
Dyslexia is a common problem that makes it hard to read. There are two kinds of learning disabilities in reading. Basic reading problems occur when there is a problem understanding the relationship between sounds, words, and letters. A reading comprehension problem is present when there is an inability to grasp the meaning of words, phrases, and paragraphs. Symptoms of reading difficulty include problems with letter and word recognition, understanding words and ideas, slow reading speed, and reading with mistakes. Although dyslexia cannot be cured, there are strategies and teaching techniques that can help people with dyslexia greatly improve their reading skills.
Written Language (Dysgraphia)
Written Expression Disorder, sometimes called dysgraphia is a writing disorder where those afflicted find it harder to write. That is, they may have difficulty in putting their thoughts into writing. They often have great ideas, but their writing is disorganized and full of mistakes. It might also take a long time for them to write and compose sentences and paragraphs. Some may also find it challenging to use proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Dysgraphia is not as widely known as dyslexia, but surprisingly, it may be more common. Experts believe between 8 and 15 percent of people suffer with it.
Mathematical Reasoning (Dyscalculia)
Did you dislike math when you were a kid? Well, probably not as much as those with difficulty learning number-related concepts, or dyscalculia.
Dyscalculia is a math learning disability that affects one’s ability to perform accurate math calculations, reason and problem solve, and perform other basic math skills. Dyscalculia is sometimes referred to as “number dyslexia”. Those with dyscalculia find it hard to understand how numbers work. They also struggle with even basic math operations and become more confused with worded math problems.
Specific Language Impairment (SLI)?
Specific language impairment (SLI) is a learning disability and communication disorder that interferes with the development of language skills. Usually found in childhood, these patients have no known hearing loss or intellectual disabilities. SLI can affect speaking, reading, listening, and writing. SLI is also known as developmental language disorder, language delay, or developmental dysphasia. It is a very common developmental disorder, affecting approximately 7 to 8 percent of children in kindergarten. The condition typically follows children into adulthood.
How Can Speech Therapy Help People with Learning Disabilities?
A Speech-Language Pathologist can help with learning disabilities. They can assess the different language-based skill areas (e.g., reading, writing, oral language, information processing, memory, and attention) and help improve performance in these specific areas.
Mastery of a language is characterized by how well a person understands others and expresses themselves. A speech therapist can teach the proper use of language in spoken or written form. They also instruct the person with learning disabilities on the functional use of language in various social contexts.
Social communication is also an area of expertise for speech therapists. They use different strategies to develop social skills such as initiating conversations, commenting, asking questions, and more.
A speech therapist also works on the cognition activities needed for communication. They can facilitate the process of paying attention, organizing thoughts and ideas, remembering, and problem-solving.
Highly Qualified Speech Therapists in Wooster, OH
Learning is our way of understanding the world around us. But the existing and usual means of learning through reading, writing, counting, and speaking are challenging for some people.
If you know somebody who exhibits delayed language and speech, you can help them by seeking a speech therapist. Luckily, it’s easy to find board-certified speech therapists with master’s degrees in Wooster, Ohio.
At Wooster Community Hospital, our team of speech therapists can help patients learn and communicate better. If you need speech therapy services, get in touch with us today! We have nine locations around Wooster, Ohio, for your convenience.
To know more about our services, you may reach us at (330) 263-8100. You may also fill out our appointment form. We look forward to being of service!