Speech Therapists - What Do They Do and Why Do We Need Them?

Speech Therapists - What Do They Do and Why Do We Need Them?
Speech Therapists - What Do They Do and Why Do We Need Them?
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Most of us develop speech problems when we are young. Others develop them later on after having an accident or a brain injury. It can be quite difficult to talk and word formulation may become foreign. Speech therapy is something that helps us develop our communication problems after going through something like a stroke. Over time we can get our speech back to normal.

What is a Speech Therapist?

Speech Therapists help people with any speech impairments they may have. They also help people who have a problem with eating and drinking because of their communication problem. These therapists help people of all ages. They help children to develop their speech at a young age if they are taking a long time to start speaking.They help adults after they have had an accident and have lost the ability to speak normally. Speech therapists also help people at an old age who are having difficulty eating or swallowing. People who have suffered from a stroke lose some of their speech as a part of their brain has lost function.Their speech becomes slurred, hoarse, and strained. Speech therapists help them gain control over their communication through regular physiotherapy sessions as these helps them learn how to increase muscle strength and regain control over talking. 

Why do we need a Speech Therapist?

We need them for any speech issues we may have. Without them it is quite difficult to figure out how to get your speech back to normal. The therapists help with minor issues such as a slur or not being able to pronounce certain words. They help with stutters that can develop in children or adults.If you have swollen tonsils, they can cause a blockage and cause a speech impairment. If you simply have an issue with formulating sentences and expressing information, they help you overcome this and develop your speech skills. We need these therapists for much more serious reasons also. One of them not being able to communicate at all or understand others.Another one is after a stroke, as noted above. In these cases, extensive help is needed to fully learn and understand how speech works and how to start talking about, as well as expressing yourself. Without speech therapists, this would be extremely difficult, as they guide you and help you in getting better.

How long would you need therapy for?

The duration of speech therapy varies and highly depends on the type of condition you or your child has. It also depends on how involved the parents or family members are and how often the sessions take place. It is not only dependent on the speech therapist to do the work in the session, work must be doing it at home also to make sure that there is a speedy recovery. It also depends on the age of the person, the condition, and any other medical conditions that may affect speech. On average about 20 hours are needed to gain control of your speech again. This breaks up into about 2 sessions a week. For people who have had a stroke, it may take up to 6 months to regain control of their speech. 

What are speech therapy techniques?

The speech therapy techniques vary depending on the condition. Some techniques are noted below:Articulation Therapy - This technique may include helping a person make certain sounds and noises, which will eventually help them speak properly. Oral Motor Therapy - This type of therapy is used to strengthen the muscles in the mouth through massaging and other techniques. It is used on people who have had an injury which caused them to lose the ability to speak.Language Intervention Therapy - This is mainly used on children who are going through delays in starting to speak. This technique helps them to start talking.VitalStim Therapy - This really helps people who have difficulty in swallowing following an accident such as a stroke. It helps with regaining control eating, drinking, swallowing, and talking. There are other techniques but the above are the main ones who tackle a variety of issues and help patients get back on track with their speech.

What ages is speech therapy suitable for?

It is suitable for all ages. Babies who have not started talking yet at the age of 2 would go to a speech therapist to help them in starting to talk. People who have had accidents at any point in their life may need a therapist to help them with talking. Old people who are in a nursing home and have difficulties in eating or drinking, may get the help of one of the techniques noted above to help them with this issue. Brain injuries can happen at any point in someone's life and have an effect on them being able to make sounds and be able to speak. 

How much does a speech therapist cost?

Initial assessment can cost anywhere between $100 to $250. The sessions themselves can easily cost between $90 to $250 an hour. It does greatly depend on the condition and how much work the patient needs. If two sessions a week are needed, you could easily be spending about $180 to $500 a week. 

Does this type of therapy work?

Yes, this type of therapy is extremely effective. There have been many reports of young children starting to talk for the first time after going to a few sessions. People with brain injuries have regained most of their ability to talk after continuous sessions with a speech therapist.Speech Therapists are able to provide us with something that we would not be able to do on our own. When we have been in an accident and get frustrated at the fact that we cannot talk the same way we used to, these therapists help in gaining our control back. Without them we would not be able to regain control of our speech in a short space of time. They are expensive, but they are more than worth it!