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Speech therapy and language therapy are therapies that provide treatment for speech, language and communication related disorders in children and adults. An experienced speech therapist will help with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of voice, speech and swallowing related disorders in adults and children. Speech and language development in a child is a complex and variable phenomenon. One child may learn earlier or faster than others. In many children, phases of great progress alternate with periods of apparent stagnation too. It is understood that girls develop speech and language ability faster than boys. As far as speech and language skills are concerned there are various milestones that a growing toddler is expected to achieve. Like a two year old is expected to speak 1 or 2 worded sentences. If there is a delay or any other issues in achieving these milestones, one should consult the pediatrician who may then recommend whether assistance of a speech therapist is required or not.
Speech Disorders: Causes and Symptoms
Speech disorders can be found in children and adults as well. But most speech related disorders that are treated through speech therapy are found in children. Most common speech related disorders in children and adolescents are delayed speech development, language development disorders, articulation disorders, disorders of pronunciation, lisping, stuttering, silence (mutism), auditory perception and processing disorders, hearing disorders, speech disorders in the lip and jaw, speech movement disorder and much more. Causes of speech disorders can be varied. It may be due to the fact that the child is not talking or getting talked to enough or probably he or she is just a late bloomer which 10% of toddlers are. But there may be also other serious underlying medical conditions and reasons involved such as learning disability, hearing loss, autism, auditory processing disorder, apraxia of speech and other neurological problems.
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech Therapy treatments are mostly holistic in nature wherein the child is motivated to overcome the issues he or she is facing in a playful manner. During the therapy, a targeted combination of different recognized and innovative methods may be used to encourage the child to speak easily. The therapies are carried out using extensive materials and possibly computer technology too. Many tips, advice and exercises will be provided to the parents for practice in the home environment for faster results and success. Speech therapists have researched and devised many methodologies and techniques that are used to assist speech and language abilities of a child.
About Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy can be conducted as a group therapy or individually, at an institution or at home by a visiting speech therapist. These therapy sessions mostly last for 45 minutes to an hour once or twice a week. Depending upon the condition the timing and frequency of these sessions may vary. Initially the therapist will observe and learn more about the condition. The therapist will study history of the disorder from the parents. If preliminary reports are available the therapist will use them too for diagnosis purposes. Various standardized and non-standardized test procedures are available for diagnostics. On the basis of comprehensive diagnostics a disorder-specific and individualized treatment plan will be created and used by the therapist.
Speech Therapy Tips and Exercises for Children
There are some simple techniques and tips that may be followed to assist the child’s development of speech and language related abilities. Firstly speak with your child, respond and talk with them even when they babble. This will encourage them to speak and will also help them with the hearing, learning and picking up the language process. Play with them and describe things to them often. Read to them books and encourage them to speak but never force them. Ask them questions and let them play with other kids who have better spoken ability. Sing to them, teach them simple words and reward them for speaking, get them toys that encourage speech and language skills are some other tips parents can use to assist the speech development for their children.