1. What is speech therapy? How is it different from language therapy?
Speech therapy is a service, a therapy that concentrates on enhancing a child’s speech by making it more understandable.It helps to expresses your thoughts and feelings without any hurdles in speaking, maintaining a clarity.
While speech involves the moving of the jaw, tongue and lips to make sounds, language is a multi-layered process that covers understanding of spoken language, using words to express thoughts and feelings.
However, both speech and language affect our ability to communicate effectively with people around us. Let us see how:
- Speech disorder is when a person has difficulty in producing speech sounds properly. For example, stuttering, which is a form of disfluency. Other problem could be an issue with hir or her voice resonance.
- Language disorder is when an individual has trouble understanding what the other person is talking about (receptive language), or sharing ideas and thoughts. This disorder might be spoken or written and may involve the form (phonology, morphology, syntax), content (semantics), and/or use of language that is functionally and socially acceptable.
- Social communication disorder happens when a person faces a lot of trouble using verbal and non-verbal communication socially and appropriately. The problems in this disorder may include: (a) communicating for social purpose (greeting, commenting & asking questions), (b) talking in different ways to suit the listener & environment and (c) following the different general rules of conversation and story-telling. Social communication problems are also found in individuals with autism, and other condition such as a traumatic brain injury.
- Cognitive communication disorder includes the ability to organise thoughts when it comes to problems, paying attention, retaining and remembering, planning and/or problem solving. This type of disorder typically happens as a result of a stroke, traumatic brain injury or dementia.
- Swallowing disorder (dysphagia) involves feeding and swallowing difficulties, which may occur due to illness, surgery or stroke.
2. Do kids outgrow their speech or language disabilities?
Not always. It varies from person to person. Speech and language take time and they develop parelley. If your child is missing some foundation skills, then there are chances that he or she may have trouble learning advanced skills later in their lives. The delayed growth can escalate rapidly which makes “outgrowing” speech and language difficulties difficult.
3. Does having a speech disorder indicate that my child is not intelligent enough?
Not at all! Even though these disorders are quite associated with some intellectual disabilities, many children with average or above average intelligence too struggle with speech and language. All that these children need is a little help to learn to produce sounds correctly and monitor the fluency of their speech.
4. Can speech and language problems be prevented?
There is no magical solution that can help prevent a child from developing a speech or language delay or disorder. However, there are certain things that parents can do to improve a child’s speech and language outcomes. Studies have shown that some of the speech problems are directly linked to the child’s environment during pregnancy and infancy. a child’s speech would definitely be better if neither of the parents smoke or drink during pregnancy. Breastfeeding up to nine months is also recommended. It is always advised that you communicate with your child often.
Please note that there is NO WAY you can actually prevent your child from developing speech and language difficulties, but you can always make the transition of therapy a little smoother.
5. Does the speech therapy involve just games?
Many speech therapists opt for games that are fun, so that the client does not get bored. I also incorporate techniques that improve their speech and language ability. Play and games play a big role in treating clients with speech therapy. This encourages learning and enhances improvement. So if your therapist seems to be teaching you fun games, rest assured that it is only because those games are aimed at helping you improve.This goes for the older population as well. Treatment through games makes it more fun and interesting.
6. What is AAC?
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a term which describes various methods of communication that act as an ‘add-on’ to speech. It includes many simple techniques or systems like pictures, gestures and pointing, as well as, a little more complex one, like the powerful computer technology.
7. Does speech & language help geriatric/ elderly population?
The ability to communicate clearly is important for people of all ages, but it is specifically important for the elderly. If they aren’t able to convey any of the discomforts that they are facing, how will we be able to help them? Situations could get worse in case of emergencies. It is particularly important when recovering from a stroke or while facing dementia. So yes, speech and language do help the geriatric and elderly population.
8. What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a condition when a person experiences difficulty in swallowing. Typically a combination of the words ‘dys’, which means difficulty and phagia which means eating in Greek.
9. What are the causes of dysphagia and is it curable?
Swallowing involves the participation and movement of many different muscles of mouth, food pipe and the vocal box. Therefore, there may not be one specific cause that causes swallowing problems but amany. Neurological conditions like sclerosis or muscular dystrophy may cause this.
Some clients have problems with swallowing which happens in three stages. They include:
- Oral phase- Sucking, chewing and moving food down the throat. Feeding comes under oral phase.a
- Pharyngeal phase- This part comprises of engulfing and squeezing the food down the throat. The client should be able able to close his airway to keep the food and liquid out. Otherwise, it may lead to choking.
- Esophageal phase- The third and the final phase is when the food finally reaches the stomach. the esophagus squeezes food down to stomach. Although we do not have a lot of control over this part of is the swallowing is not done right, the child may throw up and face problem with esophagus.
At Rise to Shine, I work with the goal to help my clients live a life free of all the difficulties they face in speech and language. I provide a series of treatments that enables the client use their muscles to chew and swallows. Along with this, you are also given treatments and techniques on ways to hold your head or sit while you eat and swallow better.
10. Why is Rise to Shine the right option for you?
At Rise to Shine, as a therapist, I take dedicated efforts while treating my patients and see to it that they get best of the treatment. However, there are little things that makes Rise to Shine so different:
- Along with the above mentioned, I also provide augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems for individuals with severe expressive and/or language comprehension disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder or progressive neurological disorders or stroke or TBI in geriatric population.
- I also work with people who don’t have speech, language, or swallowing disorders, but want to learn how to communicate more effectively (e.g., work on accent modification or other forms of communication enhancement).