~ Dr. Nidhi Gupta
Communication is intrinsic to our everyday lives and it is linked to our social and psychological health. We communicate in many ways, through sign language, writing, gestures, facial expressions but the most common way is through speech. A speech disorder affects an individual’s ability to communicate.
Speech therapy is not just about talking but about effective communication. When young children are growing, they develop speech sounds in a predictable order. However, children with articulation or phonological disorders will be difficult to understand and require therapy from a speech pathologist. Some speech disorders can persist well into teenage and adult life.
Speech disorders can disrupt a person’ ability to express, understand language and ability to communicate and learn from others. People affected are more likely to have a mental illness, learning difficulties, behavioral disorders, and being socially isolated or unemployed.
Speech therapists work with issues by assessing and treating communication disorders, such as speaking, listening, understanding language, social skills, stuttering, using voice and swallowing.
In India, the scenario is expectedly challenging considering the nation’s multilingual status. The existing health care system including private health centers and hospitals are well equipped with professionals to meet this goal. Regardless of the cause, these experts are able to assist with the recommended treatment.
Let's know about it from the most trusted Speech Therapist ~Dr. Nidhi Gupta
Table of Contents
Speech therapy services involve the treatment of communication and speech-related disorders. Speech and language are important in everyday life and people normally develop these skills naturally from birth and through childhood. People with developmental delays, stroke, brain injuries, learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, dementia and hearing loss, as well as other problems suffer from communication disorders. Cognitive-communicative disorders (a consequence of brain injury) affect the ability to communicate by the social rules of language.
Speech therapy aims to improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from the above-mentioned disorders. It does so by evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders that affect a person’s ability to communicate or swallow.
Speech therapy is necessary as people affected are more likely to develop emotional and mental illness, depression, loneliness, behavioral disorders, etc. Speech and language disorders thus affect the overall quality of life for the person. Early detection and treatment of speech problems can improve the outlook for most patients and can keep the problem from progressing or worsening.
Examples of speech and language disorders that can be treated with speech therapy include:
An articulation disorder affects how children make sounds. They may mispronounce certain words by adding, deleting, or substituting sounds in certain words. It makes it more difficult for children to communicate and for others to understand what they are saying. There is not always an identifiable cause for articulation disorders but with proper treatment, they will be able to communicate more clearly and effectively.
A fluency disorder is related to the natural flow of speech and it is also associated with ‘stuttering.’ People suffering from this disorder often speak fast and jam words together or pauses awkwardly between words. The signs of a fluency disorder are typically worse by stress or anxiety. Your speech therapist can use exercises and strategies to reduce stuttering in your daily speaking.
This disorder is often seen in children with cleft palate issues. A resonance disorder refers to an unusual amount of nasal sound energy used when talking, which makes the patient sound as if he or she is talking through the nose. In addition, the patient has to take frequent breaths during speaking to replace the lost air.
A child with a receptive language disorder has trouble understanding language usually due to differences in language processing centers of the brain. These issues can also be signs of developmental disorders such as autism and Down syndrome
A child with an expressive language disorder has trouble using language. Adults suffering from this disorder often struggle to put words together into sentences that make sense and have trouble getting their message across.
Cognitive fatigue is a common long-term consequence of brain injury. A person’s ability to pay attention is affected; they will not be able to think clearly and fail to follow the 'norms' of social behavior. They may say the wrong thing at the wrong time and may become overwhelmed, or get frustrated and angry.
Aphasia is a language disorder caused by brain damage that can affect a person's use of language from speaking, understanding, reading, writing, etc.
Dysarthria is a type of speech impairment wherein muscles you use for speech are affected. It results in slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.
Other origins of communication difficulties from acquired injury and diseases such as mouth cancer.
Your speech pathologists will use a variety of interventional methods looking at your needs. The number of sessions required differs as per the patient’s age and condition.
In general speech Therapy involves types of different components:
Physiologic voice therapy focuses on balancing three key aspects of voice production: respiration, phonation, and resonance.
Voice and respiration
This therapy is focused on modifying deviant vocal symptoms, such as a pitch that is too high or low or a voice that is too soft or loud and coordination of respiration with phonation. Your speech therapist will implement techniques designed to improve, restore, or preserve a healthy voice.
Phonation is nothing but the production of sound from our vocal cords. Treatment options include a surgical method, pharmacological or behavioral treatment. Therapists encourage patients to make changes in their lifestyles and develop a healthier regimen to achieve and maintain a healthy voice.
Resonant voice therapy helps reduce tension in the voice box. The technique is designed to increase sustained phonation times and the focus of acoustic energy. It can be adapted for use with children as vocal function exercises.
Speech fluency disorders are conditions such as stammering or stuttering, cluttering or even mumbling. Therapists explore different stuttering therapy activities including practice using smooth, prolonged speech, Practice the different types of stutters to desensitize them to it and others. These strategies are introduced along a hierarchy of speaking situations that varies both with linguistic demands and with the stressors of the environment.
Intonation exercise is carried out to improve patient’ tone, pitch, and expression in accordance with specific words. Practice will help the patient speak naturally and sound
Variance of pitch
As a part of voice therapy stretching exercise for the laryngeal system is recommended for pitch and voice adjustment. It helps control gliding pitch conditions.
The success rate of speech therapy depends on the patient's age, medical condition and types of disorders. It is not a quick fix but takes time and practice. Therapies are most successful when started at an early stage.
Consistency in attending sessions, positive attitude, family involvement; are the key factors responsible for the success of the therapy.
In India, the average cost of speech therapy in metro cities is from 600-1000 rupees per session.
It is crucial to choose the best speech therapist for optimum results. The best speech therapist provides an individualized approach and understands that each patient is unique and strives to collaborate with patients to develop functional, realistic and achievable goals and also works hard to ensure therapy is fun, engaging and successful.
At Tarang Speech and Hearing Clinics, we specialize in full diagnostic and rehabilitation services for all types of Speech and Hearing Disorders.
Dr. Nidhi Gupta is a certified Speech Therapist and Speech-Language Pathologist and has vast experience in the field of diagnostic and rehabilitative audiology and all types of management in the field of speech and hearing disorders.