Speech Therapy is an approach of enabling the rehabilitation of physical and cognitive disorders resulting in difficulty in communication( be it expressive or receptive) and social interaction. Speech and language therapy has a very important role to play in treating children having difficulty in giving and receiving verbal or non-verbal communicative information.
Some of the common Speech and language difficulties seen in children with autism are:
- Apraxia of Speech(AOS)– In Apraxia of Speech, the child knows what they want to say and they can even write what they want to say but the brain is unable to send the correct messages to the speech muscles to articulate what they want to say, even though the speech muscles themselves work just fine.
- Stuttering or Stammering– It is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds.
- Dysarthria– Dysarthria is a symptom of nerve or muscle damage. It manifests itself as slurred speech, slowed speech, limited tongue, jaw or lip movement, abnormal rhythm, and pitch when speaking, etc. It is caused by muscle damage or nerve damage to the muscles involved in the process of speaking such as diaphragm, lips, tongue and vocal cords.
- Lisping– Lisping is a speech disorder in which a person misarticulates a ‘th” sound when trying to make the ‘s’ sound. It is caused by the tongue reaching past or touching the front teeth.
- Spasmodic Dysphonia– It is a chronic long-term disorder that affects the voice. It is characterized by a spasming of the vocal cords when a person attempts to speak and results in a voice that can be described as shaky, hoarse, groaning, tight or jittery.
- Selective Mutism– It is a disorder in which a person or a child is not able to speak in some or most situations, however that person is physically capable of speaking.
- Aphasia– It is a communication disorder caused by damage to the brain’s language capabilities. It is different from apraxia of speech and dysarthria in that it solely pertains to the brain’s speech and language center.
- Speech Delay or Alalia– It refers to the phenomenon when a child is not making normal attempts to verbally communicate.
The Benefits of Speech Therapy
Speech Therapy can help kids learn to speak more clearly. This helps them feel more confident and less frustrated about speaking to others. Kids who have language issues can benefit socially, emotionally and academically from speech therapy.
For kids with reading issues such as dyslexia, speech therapy can help them hear and distinguish specific sounds in words: the word bat breaks down into b, a, and t sounds. This can improve reading comprehension skills and encourage kids to read.
Speech therapy is especially beneficial when kids begin early in life. In one study, 70 percent of preschool kids with language issues who went through speech therapy showed improvement in language skills.
We here at Advance Rehabilitation Center work with Children’s in helping them the importance of communication, spoken language and situation expectations, giving children something to talk about, giving them the means and reasons to communicate.
We not only work with the children but also work with their parents to facilitate effective communication among them such that it benefits the overall development of the child.