Speech Therapy: What Is It And What Is It For?

Do you know what the job of a speech therapist entails? Do you think you may need their services? Discover what it is and how a speech therapy professional can help you.

What is speech therapy and what functions do they perform?

When we talk about the speech therapy, many people think about language problems. But this profession goes far beyond what we culturally imagine.

What is Speech Therapy?

A speech therapist is a professional which treats different speech disorders, as well as language (oral and written) and communication in general in both children and adults.

Therefore, we could say that the speech therapy It is the science that tries to make a diagnosis as well as a recovery from disorders related to communication and human expression. The best known are language delays, stuttering, hearing impairment, autism, among many more.

What does the speech therapist do?

There are different pathologies that are treated by speech therapists The most common problems treated by speech therapy professionals are:

1. Problems in language acquisition

These include both delays and dysphasias in language acquisition. In this way, speech therapists act on the physical and psychological mechanisms that allow us acquire the language

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2. Problems in verbal expression and pronunciation

The speech therapy It also deals with those problems that are related to both the articulation and the reproduction of sounds essential to being able to speak a language. Among them we can find pathologies such as dysatrias, dyslalias or dysglosias.

3. Reading and/or writing problems

Another of the fundamental parts that speech therapists focus on are those problems related to reading and writing. So much so that among the functions of a speech therapist There is a way to treat both dyslexia and dysglosias.

4. Problems in expressive and/or comprehensive language

Language is not only pronouncing a series of words one after another. The reality is that many people have problems communicating abstract concepts such as ideas and feelings. The pathologies related to this are those of specific language disorder dyslexia as well as aphasias.

The most common problems that speech therapists treat

5. Speech fluency problems

One of the best-known problems dealt with by speech therapists It’s stuttering. In addition to this language disorder, there are other different problems related to speech fluency that speech therapists work with.

6. Breathing, sucking, chewing and swallowing problems

The act of chewing or swallowing or sucking involves many more muscles than we might imagine at first glance. So much so that these acts involve both the mouth, the pharynx and the esophagus. The speech therapist functions In these cases it is to examine the process to detect what may fail.

7. Hearing problems

He speech therapist It helps the deaf or hard-of-hearing person in the phonological, lexical, morphosyntactic and pragmatic development of language so that communication exists, and is as normal as possible. To do this, they use different work methods, methods that combine the use of residual hearing, amplified with hearing aids, with lip-facial reading or sign language. They also work on key aspects such as motivation, frustration, self-concept and self-esteem in these cases. As we can see, the work of these professionals goes further, since they must also include the emotional problems that arise from deafness.

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8. Mental or physical deficiencies

Both a children’s speech therapist as a speech therapist for adults They treat mental or physical deficiencies to try to adapt patients to the current pace of our society. Among the pathologies they treat the most are patients with cerebral palsy, autism, communication problems due to syndromes, Parkinson’s, among others.

How do you know if someone requires the services of a speech therapist?

Each person or each child is different, therefore there are individual differences in the acquisition of language Despite this, when we see signs that there are some language deficiencies or some disorder that accompanies them, it is time to go to a speech therapist.

Furthermore, not only children need speech therapist job To develop everything related to language, many times we adults may also require them. Among the most common cases are adults who stutter on certain issues or those who develop diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

What are the differences between speech therapy and psychology?

Differences between speech therapy and psychology

In the therapies performed by speech therapists, these professionals mainly focus on helping people with their communication skills. In addition, speech therapy can also participate in the recovery of a person who has suffered a disorder that has affected their development or language process.

On the other hand, the functions of a speech therapist They can also be focused on improving our communication skills to develop certain social skills. That is, speech therapists can teach techniques to learn to speak clearly both in front of a large group of people and with others.

Psychologists, on the other hand, cover a wide range of tasks. We could say that psychology deals with the study of all aspects of the functioning of the mind. So much so that on many occasions both speech therapists how psychologists work together on some language disorders. This is, since many can be derived from some psychological pathology.

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