Speech Therapy

Speech Therapy is the treatment for people with speaking disorders and language disorders. A speaking disorder is a problem with the actual production of sound. It includes articulation, fluency, and resonance disorders. A language disorder is the problem of understanding and processing ideas and putting sentences together to communicate ideas.

Adults can require speech therapy after they suffer a stroke, brain injury or a traumatic accident that makes it difficult for them to use language. Children can have difficulties speaking for many reasons, ranging from a developmental delay to a physical problem. Some children are born with speech and language disorders; others develop it due to hearing loss, cerebral palsy, or other traumatic brain injuries.


The process of speech therapy is often the practice of articulation and the physical mouth and tongue positioning when producing sounds. Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists, work with people with speaking disorders.

They help people who have stutters, rhythm problems, inappropriate pitch and other speech related problems. They analyze the p
atient’s speech, language, and cognitive communication to identify the problem and then work to solve the problem using several different methods.

They use repetition, books, pictures, and objects. When working with children, speech therapists will often play games to help improve their speech.
Therapists will also recommend exercises to parents that they can do at home with their children.

Some of the different disorders that therapy is used for include:
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  • Voice Disorders
  • Articulation Disorders
  • Oral Feeding Disorders
  • Fluency Disorders

Therapists will often try to incorporate fun and silly activities for kids to get them excited to talk and less hesitant and shy. This also helps kids to relate much better to an exercise presented by the therapist. Some therapists have kids practice speech using cut-out pictures of characters from their favorite movie or television show.

When working with adults, therapists try to help the patient’s brain establish new connections so that they can communicate effectively again. Speech therapy should begin as soon as possible, especially for children since their learning patterns can be changed. Speech and language problems can seriously hinder an individual’s learning abilities. Overcoming a speech or language disorder can be a long process. It could take months or even years.

Most public schools are required to employ a speech therapist who students can go to for help with their speech and language disorders. Hospitals, private companies, institutions, and rehabilitation centers usually offer speech therapy as well.

Suffering from a speech disorder can have negative social effects, especially among young children. Those with a speech disorder can be targets of bullying because of their disorder, and can result in decreased self-esteem.

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Examples of Exercises:
Choose a target letter that the patient is having trouble with and put a sentence together with words that all start with that same letter.
For example, “I went to the supermarket, and I bought salt, strawberries, steak, soda, sausage….”
"She sells sea shells by the seashore."

Recite a list of animals that starts with different letters of the alphabet.
For example, “I went to the zoo, and I saw an alligator, bear, camel, deer, elephant….”

Web Resources:
Online speech therapy games.
Tips for children and parents.

Related Terms:
Speech Disorder
Language Disorder
Speech Therapist
Communication Disorder

Sources and Citations:
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