Before seeking the help of a speech therapist, it is important to know what speech therapy is and why a child or adult may need help. Speech therapy is the science related to the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, scientific study and prevention of speech, communication, speech, voice, feeding and swallowing disorders in children and adults as a result of neurological, developmental or functional causes.
The speech therapist is the scientist who can evaluate and diagnose the disorder, and proceed to the therapeutic intervention where it is always needed in collaboration with other specialists such child psychiatrists, doctors, psychologists, social workers, special educators, occupational therapists, physiotherapists etc. it depends on the situation.
Phonological disorder is the child’s difficulty in organizing, learning and representing the sounds and phonological system of his/her language.
A child with a phonological disorder can articulate all the tones of the language individually, but is unable to produce them properly at the word level.
- Voice replacements
- Drop syllable or phoneme
- Final consonant drop
- Simplifications of complexes
- Transfers and moves
Articular disorders are related to the child’s difficulty in articulating sounds individually and consequently in words.
Produces / L / instead of / R
- lound instead of round, ladio instead of radio
Produces / Z / instead of D
- zown instead of down, zont instead of dont
Produces / th / instead of S
- thoap instead of soap, thtairs instead of stairs
Voice disorders range from complete absence of voice (voicelessness) to varying degrees of disorder (dysphonia). Anomalies may involve one or more of the following parameters: pitch, volume, quality, resonance, voice adaptability, and voice retention. The changes in the voice are a result of dysfunction of: larynx, respiratory system, function of the vocal cords, which may be due to the factors of structure / anatomy, neurology, psychology, behavior.
Stuttering: An interruption in the flow or rhythm of speech characterized by hesitations, repetitions, or extensions of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases.
Aphasia: It is the loss of speech and speech resulting from a stroke or craniocerebral injury.
It is characterized by the slow development of the necessary vocabulary and grammar and the expression and understanding of thoughts and ideas.
It is characterized by the difficulty of understanding the verbal stimuli of oral speech from the environment or by the difficulty of expressing thoughts, feelings and experiences.
They are more common in adults after a stroke or other brain injury. These types of disorders make it difficult for a person to think clearly, remember or solve a problem.
It is known as dysphagia or dysphagia. This disorder is often seen in certain diseases of the nervous system, in tumors or other diseases of the esophagus as well as adjacent organs.
The difficulty of chewing or swallowing can be due to various factors related to the development of myofunctional and oral processes.
Chewing and swallowing disorders usually occur in infancy. Sometimes, the disorders occur when the child does not want to remove his/her bottle or pacifier or even when he/she is forced to remove them and starts sucking his/her finger.
During infancy, these disorders are more pronounced and involve cases where the child has difficulty breastfeeding, drowning or vomiting frequently. Severe salivation or difficulty swallowing results in prolonged duration of meals. Sometimes in older age the child with disorders of the upper respiratory system presents abnormalities in the development of his/her teeth, while very often some children in a phase of calm place the tongue between their teeth (tongue extrusion phenomenon).
Problematic feeding behaviors often develop within a defined range of clinical behaviors. The selective child bases his/her selectivity on many things, such as variety, brand, textures, smell, presentation and even the sound that food produces in the mouth. A child with selective feeding may need additional interventions from a speech therapist.
The speech therapist can help the child to overcome the problems he/she is facing as the timely therapeutic intervention will help in the smooth restoration of the problems that arise during his development.
In our next blog we will analyze:
When does a child need speech therapy?
Stages of normal evolutionary development of speech
What services do speech therapists offer to children and adults?