Everything You Need to Know About Adult Speech Therapy

Language or speech-related issues are usually associated with children. However, there are many reasons why adults should consider seeking the help of therapists to improve their communication abilities and language skills. 

We have talked with one of the coaches working in a center dealing with Speech Therapy in Chicago. According to him, the biggest hurdle for adults is to identify that some things are beyond their control, and they should seek help when it is unavoidable. 

According to him, it’s important to know that there’s no shame to seek professional assistance when you’re aware that a series of therapy sessions can bring improvement in your speech and make your life better.”

In this post, we’re going to talk about what adult speech therapy is and why you should benefit from it if you’re suffering from major speech disorders like stuttering, articulation, language delay, or more. 

What is Adult Speech Therapy?

Adult Speech Therapy can take place in different ways depending on the patient’s needs and goals they’re trying to achieve. While speech therapy works the same for both children and adults, the approaches significantly vary.

You need professional assistance if you’re experiencing one or more of the below-listed symptoms:

  • Swallowing issues
  • Speech impediments
  • Difficulty combinings words and phrases
  • Reading/writing issues
  • Stuttering 
  • A chronic sore throat that impacts your speech

While it is true that speech disorders usually start in childhood, there is a range of circumstances an adult might need speech therapy to improve their ability. For instance,

  • People suffering from Laryngeal or oral cancer can benefit from speech therapy
  • People suffering from respiratory disorders, brain injuries, autism, and dementia can take speech therapy sessions to get a hold of their speaking and articulation abilities
  • Aging and several types of post-surgical methods also require a patient to take speech therapy sessions

Benefits of Speech Therapy for Adults

Improves Swallowing

Dysphagia causes swallowing problems in patients. Patients suffering from dysphagia usually experience difficulty with both solids and liquids. Speech therapists perform several swallowing evaluations and also guide patients about dietary changes to prevent the occurrence of this disease. 

Improves Speech Impacted by Muscular Problems

Dysarthria is another speech-related disorder that impacts the coordination of muscles that produce speech. A speech therapist can closely work with a patient and develop strategies that can improve their motor skills. Treatment for dysarthria includes augmentative and alternative communication, speaker tactics, and in some cases, surgery. 

Improves Speech Impacted by Stroke-Related Disorders

Speech-language pathology is ideal for patients who have just undergone a stroke. Patients suffering from aphasia and apraxia can specifically benefit from speech therapy to control their inabilities to find the right words and move their lips to form words properly. Timely identification of issues and implementation of therapy also increases the chances of complete recovery. 

Improves Quality of Life

Adult patients suffering from speech disorders can benefit from speech therapies to improve the quality of their life. With the right strategies, patients can socialize with other people without hesitation. These therapies build confidence, allowing patients to study and work in professional settings without any hurdle. 

Helps Manage Stutter 

Stuttering is a common speech disorder that affects many people. Unfortunately, medical science has failed to determine the exact cause of this disorder. However, after years of research and investigation, speech pathologists have outlined techniques that help patients successfully manage stuttering with regular speech therapy sessions. 

Helps You Articulate Your Ideas

Being able to articulate your thoughts and ideas enable you to convey your message in a manner that will leave your listeners hooked. Whether it’s a business idea, a general comment on someone’s speech, or a joke, proper spoken articulation is essential to get your message across. Speech therapy sessions help you overcome your weaknesses and allow you to focus on your strengths. 

Moving Forward

Diagnosis

Persons experiencing a sudden onset of speech impairment must seek immediate medical assistance as it might be a sign of stroke. 

If you’re experiencing gradual hurdles, you should still see a doctor first as he’s the only one who can identify any underlying health condition or may refer you to a speech-language pathologist. 

Your doctor may ask you a series of questions to know about your medical history. Also, they will examine your level of comprehension, fluency, and accent by having a detailed conversation with you. 

Depending on the results, your doctor may advise you to seek speech therapy treatment or get some tests done, such as CT scans, urine tests, blood tests, etc. 

You may then be advised to consult a neurologist or speech-language pathologist. 

Treatment Plan

The next step is to make an appointment with a speech-language pathologist. They will teach you how to conduct different exercises to strengthen your vocal cords and control.  

They will also help you get hold of articulation, receptive communication, and improving vocal expression. 

How Speech Therapy for Adults Work?

There are several ways you can use adult speech therapy to your advantage. Some of the prominent treatment plans include:

Target Selection: If you’re having trouble with targeting specific sounds, then target selection can be your safest bid. For example, if you’re having trouble pronouncing a letter ‘d’, your speech therapist will focus on that letter. 

Contrast Therapy: Contrast therapy targets words in pairs to highlight their differences. For example, brown and clown, blow and slow, etc. 

Oral Motor Therapy: Oral-motor therapy involves exercising actual muscles to help improve communication ability and speaking. 

Contextual Utilization: Contextual utilization focuses on breaking up a word into smaller and more manageable parts to help patients quickly grasp sounds and word structure, especially after a brain injury or stroke. 

In a nutshell, speech-language therapy can help people with stuttering and delayed speech issues. It also helps those who’re having difficulty pronouncing certain words. The treatment sessions not only enhance spoken language, writing, and reading but also help patients speak more confidently, correctly, and succinctly. 

Have questions? Drop them in the comments section below. We will get back to you at our earliest.

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