voice therapy

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.

All FAQs about Voice Therapy Busted Here!

Proper use of voice and well-maintained vocal folds are the two conditions for having good and uninhibited voice. However, it is not unusual for professional singers and voice providers to have vocal complaints, though their vocal folds appear normal. In such cases as this, vocal system is often diagnosed as the origin of the problem. Voice Therapy is, here, targeted towards treating this problem. Through specialized therapy a person with singing and loud speaking voice can have a holistic experience. Here what you might want to know!

What is voice therapy?

Voice therapy is a therapeutic approach to treat the hoarseness of voice and other vocal problems without surgery. The physical therapy with a few successive sessions is highly effective in eliminating the need for operation. There are two sorts of voice disorders such as behavioral and organic disorder that can be cured through a wide range of advanced techniques. While the first one relates to the abuse or misuse of vocal mechanisms, the second one involves problems arising out of vocal physiology. A skilled therapist introduces individualized exercises to relieve vocal strain and optimize the power of voice through proper training and education.

Who needs it?

Anyone who has a disease or injury in their vocal system can get a lot of relief with the help of voice therapy. Besides, those who rely mostly on their voices for living such as singers, teachers, anchors and orators can also be abundantly benefitted by the regular exercises and effective sessions under expert supervision.
However, in cases of complex voice disorders like polyps or cysts in oral system, voice therapy can turn out to be insufficient. Though this type of therapeutic treatment can eliminate vocal nodules completely, in critical conditions vocal surgery might be required. Now, for optimal outcome one must undergo a critical therapy side by side the surgery.

How does it work?

The therapeutic techniques range widely based on the diagnosis of a speaker’s voice and his speaking demands. Patients are often recommended to see speech pathologist for a thorough evaluation of the voice. The initial evaluation process includes a detailed family history, vocal habits assessment, and complete vocal assessment. Then the treatment starts with a hygiene program of the vocal system that takes care of the vocal musculature. After this some necessary exercises and educational training are provided for fast healing of the voice. These speech experts deal with each patient differently depending on their lifestyle and problems. For example, those with weaker voice are taught novel techniques to elevate vocal power and keep vocal tissues and muscles strain-free.

What are the benefits?

A voice therapy can work wonders for people having troubles with their vocal organs. Here are some of its benefits are laid down for a quick peep-through-

1. No more hoarseness of voice:  Teachers, lawyers, singers, coaches, clergy are some of the professions that demand high vocal actions. Therefore, they are always susceptible to stressing their oral and vocal muscles. This leads to the serious damage of tissues and destroy the capability of the voice. However, a speech expert treats this issue with therapeutic care and exercise training without the patient having to go through painful operation.

2. No swallowing difficulty:  Apart from the hoarseness of voice, the problem with swallowing difficulty if any is also resolved. The speech pathologists prescribe a few individualized treatment programs. A face-to-face training session, along with these, optimizes the healing process faster.

3. Strong vocal folds:  As the expert speech pathologists have unveiled more branches of voice therapy, many unfailing approaches coupled with medicinal methods have been brought into practice. These have not only increased coordination of vocal folds but also helped strengthen them.

4.Improved voice quality:  Those suffering from voice disorders can get extreme relief with these therapies after a surgery. In fact, people with gruff voice have got excellent result with regular sitting with experienced therapists. The programs are tailored to relieve different problems based on their nature. However, all these techniques and trainings, as a result, improve the voice quality and ensure absolute fluency in speech.

4 Things Parents Want to Know about Language Disorders and Their Diagnosis

Similar to speech impairments, language disorders make it difficult for kids to comprehend what they read or listen to. These disorders obstruct children from expressing their thoughts and feelings through proper articulation, affecting their social and learning skills. However, parents of these kids need not worry anymore since there are several ways to treat them effectively. But the first step to helping your child starts with knowing more about these disorders and their diagnosis.

What are language disorders?

A language disorder is an impediment in a child’s ability to speak or understand others. The difficulty to find proper words and make clear sentences lead to a major communication problem. The struggle to put thoughts into words often slows down the overall developments in kids.

Now, most kids learn to talk late but only a few catch up gradually on their own. But language therapists are insisting that it must be taken seriously if you suspect that your child is unable to grasp simple sentences and apply the right rules of grammar and language. However, it should be remembered that language disorders are not quite same as speech impairments or hearing issues.

Language disorders are classified under three categories, such as receptive language problem, expressive language problem and mixed receptive-language problem. While the first one indicates difficulty in understanding what others are speaking and the second one involves issues with expressing thoughts accurately, the third one relates to both- difficulty in comprehending and applying spoken language.

What causes language disorders?

Experts cannot still pinpoint the exact causes of language disorders but according to the extensive research they can be tracked down to some possible reasons.

  1. Hereditary:A recent study shows that 20 to 40% of kids who have a family history of speech and language impairment become prone to such language impairment as compared to 4% of those with no family history.
  2. Prenatal nutrition:After a survey language experts have found out that a baby is less likely to develop language disorders if the mother takes folic acid supplements at her prenatal state.
  3. Other issues:Premature birth, Down syndrome and autism disorder are also some reasons behind verbal and behavioral challenges faced by children at a very early age.

What are the symptoms?

Troubles with communication including speaking clearly, hearing properly and organizing information as heard from others are the basic signs of detecting language disorders. There are other symptoms as well that are only detectable in kids after the age of 3. They are-

  1. Having limited vocabulary in comparison with other children.
  2. Inability to express in simple sentences
  3. Having problems with uttering new yet easy words or understand them.

Can they be diagnosed through symptom analysis?

Language disorders can be treated through proper diagnosis and early intervention. If your kid is not as spontaneous as other kids and feels aloof, then you should watch out for the symptoms of verbal limitations, as mentioned above. From testing his reception of information to communication skills, his conditions will be assessed through expert observation and analysis. Once the evaluation is done, speech pathologists will start with various therapeutic treatment procedures that are just fit for your child.