Treatment of speech problem after stroke

7 Beliefs about Speech Therapy Exercises- Myth or Reality?

Children at their early ages are most likely to face speech and language disorders. It is a very common problem in infants, but as time passes it becomes more than a passing concern for parents. However, when they try to fish out information about language disabilities and speech therapy, they often come across misleading information. While some people tell them that speech therapy treats only stuttering and lisping, some advise them never to use “baby talk”. In this way things might get very confusing for parents. So here some of the myths have been debunked to reveal the truth behind them. Read on…

 

Speech therapy can treat only lisping and stuttering

 

Many people have this idea that speech therapy sessions can only work for patients with lisping and stuttering problems.  But to tell the truth, a speech pathologist deals with different kinds of speech disorders. Lisping and stuttering are just two of them. Aphasia, apraxia, dysphagia are some of the speech, language and swallowing impairments that can be treated with regular therapy under the supervision of an experienced speech language pathologist.

 

Speech therapy only involves talking

 

Do you think that speech therapy exercises are simply about talking? Think again! The speech language pathologists offer different programs for different difficulties. Each session is tailored to suit the requirement of an individual. The techniques or exercises blanket a wide range of tasks, from using sign language to verbal communication and the execution of communication aids to language comprehension. They also treat people with swallowing difficulties. The use of advanced methods enables a person to eat, drink and swallow food easily.  

 

Children get bored of it

 

It is true that parents find it very difficult to keep their kids hooked to these therapies. But today many therapeutic centers have recreated their exercise techniques. They have made speech therapy exercises interactive and person-centered. While there is a chance to talk to the speech language pathologist face-to-face and discuss problems, for children they have introduced games, apps, toys and other playful activities to develop their interests. To get the best result, they have brought forth the most innovative and thrilling ideas for kids.  

 

It’s an extended playtime for kids

 

These therapists often go back to the naturalistic approach for treating children. This suggests that they combine playing with teaching. For example, if a therapist is teaching a particular “d” sound, he/ she will take the help of a “doll” to familiarize the child with that exact sound and speech pattern. Similarly, for “t” sound, the kid is introduced to a “truck” or “train” for identification and speech improvement. As a result, the child learns to talk faster and more importantly, say things while visualizing the same. So this is definitely an extended playtime for children who can learn about a lot of new things while playing. In this process, parents can also stimulate interest in their sons/daughters about language by encouraging them to ask questions as well as reading with them.

 

“Baby talk” prevents language development

 

We often talk to infants in high pitched baby voice with exaggerated facial expressions and gestures to grab their attention. Contrary to impeding language development in babies, it actually helps in a number of ways. Here are few of them:

  • Babies quite like the rhythm of the sing song baby voice. Even newborns seem to enjoy this talk.
  • It helps babies know that the conversation is about them. They begin to learn new words related to people and the world as well as get to know many things about the world itself.
  • It enables them to differentiate between words and sounds. As they begin to separate speech, the variations in pitch help them understand the difference between words and sounds in a stream of speech.
  • Shorter and simpler sentences with frequent repetition of words make it easier for the tiny tots to comprehend what other person is saying. This, as a result, encourages them to communicate and integrate into social sphere.

 

Telegraphic speech helps kids learn to talk faster

 

The term “telegraphic speech” refers to short phrases and words without saying grammatically correct full sentences that are used by children at early age. For example, we often hear kids saying “Where glass?” instead of “Where is the glass?” or “Mom bag” instead of “This is Mom’s bag.” In a recent research, Prof. Marc Fey of the University of Kansas Medical Center has found that telegraphic speech can prevent a child’s learning of words and grammar. It particularly hinders them to utter complete sentences that are meaningful and grammatical correct. In a way, they fail to convey their message to others. It also deprives them of the useful information which comes from grammatically correct speech. In this case, the speech pathologists teach these children how to construct a sentence with short and simple words yet express their ideas without a hitch. The experts take various approaches including listening to language and grammar with picture cues that enable children to understand and learn new words and their meanings.

 

Bilingualism affects speech

 

Many parents believe that learning a second language can lead to speech disorder of their children. Though, in some cases, it proves to be true, the latest survey by the Department of Hearing and Speech completely denies it. A research on English-French bilinguals shows that children who know two languages perform better than those who have learnt only their mother tongue. Be it a cognitive task or a language skill test, they can do better. In fact, children who are learning two languages simultaneously will roughly go through the same development patterns as those learning only one language. Additionally, the speech experts say that the earlier a child learns another language, the better. Early age is a prime time to learn new things and the language around them. However, if a child is unable to grasp the new linguistic rules and patterns of another language, parents must not force it. Or else, they might mix up the vocabularies of two languages and be unable to use any of them properly.

A Parents’ Guide to Autism Speech Therapy and Its Key Benefits

When it comes to treating autism, most parents are oblivious of the benefits of speech therapy. Apart from improving communication in autistic children, regular therapy can build confidence in these kids and help them connect with people socially. Autism throws a lot of communication challenges that are very hard to overcome in order to integrate into society. Having said that, autism is a wide spectrum in which different children are diagnosed with different problems to varying degrees.  Talking less, moaning, grunting and failing to make eye contact are some of the issues. However, in recent finding, autism speech and language therapy has been considered to be the most effective means to intervene autistic children and address these problems in a number of ways.

A brief about autism spectrum disorder or ASD

Very few parents are aware of autism spectrum disorder in kids. Parents often overlook some initial signs of interactive difficulties in small kids. So here is a small know-how about autism-

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can be detected in children around the age of 3. It is mainly marked by impaired communication with a lack of cognitive skill but it also includes other peculiarities such as repetitive activities, inability to connect with the environment, unusual responses to certain things like touch and reluctance to accept changes in daily routine. However, there are some common speech and interaction problems that parents must take note of very early in their children. Some of them are:

  1. Babbling with words and uttering grunts or harsh sounds
  2. Using robotic-kind-of speech
  3. Repeating after a person
  4. Talking incoherently or using words in an unexpressive tone of voice

These challenges are faced by about one of three autistic children who have trouble making coherent speech sounds in order to interact with others. Apart from that, a person with autism has to deal with major communication challenges.

  1. Unable to make eye contact while talking to somebody
  2. Lacking the understanding the meaning of those words outside the context where they learned them before
  3. Unable to memorize things
  4. Lacking the knowledge about creating new sentences
  5. Unable to comprehend the meaning of words and symbols

To combat all these speech and non-verbal communication problems, speech therapy works effectively.

Benefits of speech therapy

Autism speech therapy works on a person’s overall communication improvement. It also improves their ability to produce understandable speech sounds and make social relationships. Here’s a look at few of its advantages.

  1. Helps articulate words properly: Since the evolution of autism speech therapy, there have been inventions and executions of lots of techniques. For example, electronic ‘talkers’ are often used for improving articulation. Speech Pathologists also recommend oro motor exercises of lips and facial muscles to help these patients to utter words appropriately.
  2. Initiate communication:  A very technique of using picture boards with words and their supporting pictures is a great way of helping a child to learn how to start a communication. This sort of procedure is called ‘picture exchange communication system’.  In fact this makes the entire therapy program very interesting for kids. As a result, they become capable of starting out a conversation without getting any prompts from others as well as understand another person’s intention while talking to him/her.
  3. Exchange ideas: One of the major communication difficulties for children is to express and exchange their ideas. In autism speech therapy, they learn to talk about their views and understand that of others in both verbal and non-verbal way. They are also taught to say something coherently keeping the appropriate place, setting and person in mind. For example, they learn when they have to say “Good morning” and when to bid “Goodbye”.
  4. Learn self-regulation: During the training, therapists give a lot of stress on a child’s ability regulate himself. They encourage children to sing songs to match the rhythm, stress and flow of sentences. Sometimes different sounds are used for a kid to whom he is under- or over-sensitive to so that these can compress and expand his speech patterns. This makes a great impact on his verbal exchanges.