General: In some cases, speech disorders require no treatment. This is often true in disorders that are known to affect young children (such as dysfluency). In general, most speech disorders improve with speech-language therapy. Sometimes surgical procedures are necessary to correct physical problems (such as a cleft palate) that may be causing symptoms.
Speech-language therapy: Speech-language therapy is considered the primary treatment for most speech disorders. Speech-language pathologists, also called speech therapists or speech-language professionals (SLPs), evaluate, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent speech, language, communication, swallowing, and other related disorders. These professionals have been educated in the study of human communication. SLPs have earned Master's degrees and state certification/licensure in the field. They are also certified in clinical competency from the American Speech-Hearing Association.
During speech-language therapy, a qualified SLP works with the patient on a one-to-one basis, in a small group, or directly in a classroom, to overcome speech disorders. Programs are tailored to the patient's individual needs. On average, patients receive five or more hours of therapy per week for three months to several years.
Speech pathologists use a variety of exercises to improve the patient's communications skills. Exercises typically start off simple and become more complex as therapy continues. For instance, the therapist may ask the patient to name objects, tell stories, or explain the purpose of an object.
The therapist may also help patients learn how to cope with some of their symptoms. For instance, the therapist may teach the patient to over-articulate words that are hard to pronounce or to pause before saying big words.
Voice therapy: Patients who frequently overuse or strain their vocal cords may benefit from voice therapy. This type of therapy involves teaching the patient good vocal technique to reduce the amount of pressure put on the vocal cords. As a result, this helps reduce symptoms of vocal disorders from occurring in the future.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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