While speaking and communicating might be something most people do without thinking, it’s not easy for everyone. In fact, about 40 million Americans deal with speech and communication disorders.
Fortunately, for those struggling with speech disorders, speech therapy can offer many benefits. Speech therapists, who are also called speech-language pathologists, are well-trained and experienced to help people, especially children in dealing with the struggles of speech and communication disorders. If you’re such a person, here are five reasons why a speech therapist can help you:
- Articulation: When someone who struggles with speech is talking, articulation is very important. Articulation helps people improve their overall speech and their overall confidence. Take for example, a young child who might struggle to pronounce the sound of a certain letter. Articulation exercises with a speech therapist can help overcome those struggles.
- Stuttering: Another benefit of a speech therapist is that he or she can help those with speech disorders overcome problems with stuttering. Believe it or not, an SLP can help those who struggle overcome their problems with stuttering to the point where a stutter may no longer exist. It’s been estimated that more than 65 million Americans struggle with stuttering. A speech therapist can help people by advising them to talk slower, watch their breathing patterns and to find a rhythm while they’re talking. These are just a few exercises that can help people young and old to overcome a stutter and have more clear speech.
- Confidence: People dealing with speech and communication disorders can often deal with anxiety and low self-esteem. For young children, it can be tough dealing with ridicule from their classmates. A speech therapist can help their patients gain confidence, whether their offering adult therapy or pediatric speech therapy. After working with a speech therapist, patients will be able to communicate more easily and can start conversations without having to be prompted. The ability to do this can be a huge confidence-booster for people who have worked hard to overcome articulation and stuttering problems.
- Better understanding: A speech therapist helps folks with speech disorders, but they can also help people who are trying to lose or gain an accent. One of the best examples of this is actors who may have to learn or lose an accent depending on what sort of role they’re playing. For those who have a naturalized accent, SLPs can help folks overcome it if they so wish by learning their speech patterns and then focusing on ways they can work the accent out of their speech.
- Swallowing: Believe it or not, people dealing with speech difficulties can also run into problems swallowing. This is a condition known as dysphagia and it can be caused by any number of medical aliments. A speech therapist is trained in using techniques and exercises to help people improve their swallowing. Some of these exercises can be as simple as turning your head, modifying a diet or different techniques for biting.
Dealing with speech or communication disorders such as stuttering and swallowing problems can be very debilitating and hard to deal with from a confidence-standpoint. A speech therapist can help folks of all ages deal with the issues described above and help them gain confidence to speak better, more clearly and with more naturally.