Speech disorders are not uncommon in the United States. It’s estimated that around 40 million Americans have some type of speech and communication disorder. To correct these disorders, many attend speech therapy in order to correct the disorder. Speech therapy, according to Understood, can help with speech issues like articulation problems, fluency problems, resonance problems, and in some cases oral feeding issues that can be related to speech issues. Many begin speech therapy as children, since it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to correct these problems. Speech therapists can use a number of treatments to help with child speech therapy and this article will take a look at a few of those treatments and how they can help.
- Electrical Stimulation: While it might sound shocking, one treatment that speech therapists can use to help with speech disorders is electrical stimulation. Sometimes speech disorders occur, according to certain sources, because of muscular weakness or paralysis. In other words, if the muscles in and around the mouth aren’t working properly, speech is affected as a result. Electrical stimulation can be used to stimulate these muscles during speech exercises and slowly help the muscles, and by extension the speech abilities, improve.
- Speech Exercises: A more basic form of speech therapy that is used for children and adults are basic speech exercises where the patient spends time focusing on forming specific words that they struggle with. This can involve focusing on shaping the tongue to form specific words. By repeating the problem words and focusing on shaping the tongue, the goal is to create a muscle memory that will help the patient to better speak these words after much practice.
- It Takes Time: One important thing to know about any form of speech therapy is that it takes time to be effective. Unlike some forms of physical therapy that might see results in a matter of weeks, speech therapy, depending on the issues involved, can take months or years to fully correct the problem. And it’s very important to note that not all forms of speech disorder can be fully corrected, it is possible that your child might have some issues talking for the rest of their life. However, speech therapy can help a great deal in most cases, it just requires patience.
In conclusion, speech therapy can help children who struggle with speech disorders by applying electrical stimulation (if necessary), or by using speech exercises, just to name a few examples. No matter what form of speech therapy is used however, it’s important to remember that speech therapy takes time and patience.