Outcomes, Benefits Speech Therapy
What is the Desired Outcome of Speech Therapy?
The main goal of speech therapy is to improve communication. Some of the goals of speech therapy might include:
- Improving coordination of speech muscles through strengthening and coordination exercises, sound repetition and imitation.
- Improving communication between the brain and the body through visual and auditory aids such as mirrors and tape recorders.
- Improving fluency through breathing exercises.
- Enhancing the learning of language through language stimulation and the use of language through positive reinforcement.
- Improving communication by helping a child learn another way to communicate which might include gestures, signing or augmentative communication devices (note use of these alternate forms of communication will serve to enhance speech development, not impair it).
Each child will have a different outcome depending on his or her particular challenges and abilities. The length of time in speech-language therapy depends on many factors such as severity of the problem, the frequency and consistency of therapy and the consistency of help at home.
What are the Benefits of Speech Therapy?
The goal of speech therapy is to improve skills that will allow your child to communicate more effectively. There are other benefits as well. These can include:
- Improvement in the ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
- Intelligible speech so your child is understood by others
- Increased ability to problem-solve in an independent environment
- Improved swallowing function and safety
- Achievement of school readiness skills
- Development of pre-literacy skills
- Improved vocal quality
- Fluent speech
- Development of practical social skills
- Better quality of life
- Greater self-esteem
- Increased independence
The ability to express one’s self is paramount. Speech therapy may help your child achieve a greater ability to use and understand language, to communicate with others and to express himself or herself to the greatest extent possible.
Delaying speech therapy for your child runs the risk of missing that all-important window of time between birth and three years of age when the brain is maturing and learning happens rapidly.
Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.