What is Speech Therapy?Speech therapy is a treatment that helps people of all ages who have problems speaking and using language. The professionals who provide speech therapy are called speech and language pathologists, or sometimes just speech therapists. Speech therapy is often associated with children, and many kids do need extra help overcoming speech disorders such as a lisp or a stutter. However, older patients also often rely on speech services, for instance after a stroke. The issues that are treated in speech therapy can be broadly broken down into three main categories. They are:
- Speech disorders, which affect the voice and the ability to form sounds properly or speak fluently. Examples include dysarthria, stuttering, and vocal cord polyps.
- Language disorders, which are problems with either saying or understanding spoken words. Examples include autism and pragmatic (social) language disorders.
- Swallowing disorders, including drooling and difficulty swallowing. Since speech therapy involves treatment for the muscles of the mouth and throat, some swallowing disorders can be treated by speech therapists.
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