If you or your child are struggling when it comes to reading, spelling, or language in general, then you might want to consider seeking out the help of a professional speech pathologist. While many believe that speech therapy is only available for individuals who have a stutter, lisp or have trouble with articulation, that’s not the case. Speech therapists are capable of handling those speech problems as well as issues you may have with written or spoken language. This includes dyspraxia, dyslexia and auditory processing disorder.

How They Can Help

The first step in speech therapy is to determine what sort of language issues the patient is exhibiting. This needs to be determined before any form of effective treatment can begin. Speech pathologists can help with language problems that include difficulty speaking clearly, stuttering and other speech flow conditions, trouble with vocal pitch or volume and oral feeding problems. Well trained speech therapists can also aid patients that experience issues understanding language, expressing language and using it in socially appropriate situations.

Varying strategies are used to aid in helping their patients fulfil their language goals. Those strategies consist of using language intervention, which are activities that work to build language skills through different mediums, articulation therapy, which includes demonstrations of how to physically form words, and feeding therapy. This form teaches patients how to exercise their facial muscles in order to encourage awareness and ease of consuming food.

What are the Benefits?

Patients seek out speech therapy treatments in order to improve their language issues, and that’s typically what happens. For children especially, who experience difficulties when speaking with other, speech therapy helps them learn how to speak more clearly and with confidence. Dyslexia and reading comprehension are issues that speech therapy can aid in with developing children. Children who see a speech pathologist also benefit emotionally, socially and academically.

Related: Reasons your non-verbal child needs speech therapy?

Results You Can Expect

Speech therapy treatments, especially for children, can last anywhere from several months to a few years. It all depends on the patient and what their needs are. It’s important to remember that speech therapy can’t cure someone of a speech impediment or underlying issues, it can only help to improve it. Once treatment has ended, whether it’s just for the day or altogether, your therapist will likely give you exercises to do yourself or your child in order to practice and reinforce speech therapy teachings. It’s also important that speech therapists and their patients get along with one another.

Shelley Ortved is a Toronto based speech pathologistthat deals with patients across the GTA. We work closely with families, dealing with children, pre-teens and adolescents who have speech-language disorders. Our speech therapy treatments consist of assessments, consultations, and the treatment itself. New patients are always welcome, so give us a call and receive a free phone consultation.