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Speech Therapy

What Is Speech Therapy?

Speech-language therapy is the treatment for speech and/or language disorders. A Speech Disorder refers to a problem with producing words correctly or fluently or has problems with his or her voice. A Language Disorder refers to the difficulty of understanding or putting words together to communicate ideas or thoughts. Literacy is reading and writing. Children with communication disorders are more likely to struggle with reading and writing.

Why Is Speech Therapy Needed?

While speech therapy can be needed after a stroke or traumatic accident, many children are in pursuit of milestones that have been delayed as a result of a disability. Speech and language disorders can exist together or by themselves. Both adults and children can suffer from speech and language disorders. They can be due to a medical problem or have no known cause. Language is the basis of communication. Gesturing, listening, speaking, reading, and writing are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. Speech and language skills are essential for learning and academic success.

Speech Disorders and Language Disorders

Speech disorders include the following problems, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Speech Disorders:

  • Articulation/Phonological Process disorders include difficulties producing sounds in syllables or saying words incorrectly to the point that other people can’t understand what’s being said. – Childhood apraxia of speech is a motor speech disorder due to motor planning not muscle weakness. – Dysarthria involves weak and slow muscles of the face, mouth, and respiratory system.
  • Fluency disorders include problems such as stuttering, the condition in which the flow of speech is interrupted by abnormal stoppages, repetitions (st-st-stuttering), or prolonging sounds and syllables (ssssstuttering).
  • Resonance or voice disorders include problems with the pitch, volume, or quality of the voice that distract listeners from what’s being said. These types of disorders may also cause pain or discomfort for the child when speaking.
  • Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders include difficulties with eating and swallowing.

Language disorders:

  • Receptive disorders refer to difficulties in understanding or processing language.
  • Expressive disorders include difficulty putting words together, a limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
  • Language based learning disorders
  • Preschool Language disorders
  • Selective mutism
  • Medical/Developmental
  • Attention deficit disorder/ attention deficit hyper activity disorder
  • Autism
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy

SLP may guide you through:

  • Speech, language, hearing, feeding milestones
  • Organizing, planning, problem solving
  • Safe feeding techniques, diet modifications
  • Choosing alternate means of communication
  • Adaptive play
  • Give you ideas about specific words or sounds you should practice and what you should wait one

During an SLP visit:

  • Use verbal speech paired with signs and/or pictures to determine appropriate means of communication.
  • Use specially designed tools to help overcome speech difficulties
  • Balance play with structured activities - play/pretend play are pre-requisites for language development
  • Use mirrors for visual feedback
  • Use Dictaphone for auditory feedback

Special techniques: Aquatics, Beckman Oral Motor Therapy, Hippotherapy, Vital Stim Therapy

Allied Therapy Speech Therapist Directory

  • Stacey Smitherman, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Mollie Gentry, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Jamye Rankin, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Jennifer Hendon MS, CCC-SLP
  • Karen Hanson, M.S., CCC-SLP
  • Brenda VonOhlen, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Rita Sawyer, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Marty Hamric, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Candice Bottoms, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Tracy Walker, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Barbara McCrory, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Allison Raper, MS, CCC-SLP
  • Virginia Lee, MS CFY-SLP
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