It’s so easy to talk to your best friend on the phone. You have so much catching up to do, the time flies by. But what if you had difficulty speaking? How would you communicate then?
Certified speech-language pathologists (CCC-SLP), or speech therapists, use techniques to help improve communication for those with speech disorders. The causes of these conditions range from neurological impairments from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to a cerebrovascular accident (CVA or stroke), brain tumor, or other conditions. They help young children to adults of all ages.
What is a speech disorder?
Disorders that affect speech/language and respond well to speech therapy include:
- Articulation: inability to correctly form sounds of words
- Fluency: such as stuttering or cluttering (rushed speech)
- Resonance: voice quality vibrations altered by an obstructed airflow—cleft palate, swollen tonsils, and others
- Expressive: difficulty forming accurate sentences when speaking
- Cognitive communication: when the “thinking” part of your brain is injured, due to brain development, TBI, stroke, or neurological conditions
- Aphasia: loss of ability to understand or express speech often caused by stroke or other brain damage
- Dysarthria: slurred/slow speech due to facial paralysis—stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and others.
Therapists can help with swallowing disorders too.
If you have swallowing difficulties related to Parkinson’s disease or oral cancer, there is also therapy to retrain that function.
What happens in speech therapy?
Your first speech therapy appointment begins with assessing your needs and developing an individualized treatment plan, depending on your needs and condition.
Activities are directed toward improving cognitive ability, memory, and problem-solving, as well as conversational methods to improve daily interactions, breathing exercises, and exercises to increase the strength of oral muscles.
The duration of the sessions with your speech therapist depends on your age, the type of disorder, how frequently you meet, and whether another medical condition needs to be treated at the same time.
Meet Brianna Hennen, M.S. CCC-SLP, our experinced Certified Speech Language Pathologist, who improves the lives of children and adults of all ages through speech therapy. To learn more about how speech therapy can help you or a family member, call the Therapy Services Department at 320.634.2015. for more information.