What is Speech Therapy?

Speech, language and communication is the essence of our life. It is very important aspect of every human being’s overall development as well. Speech and language therapy helps you to deal with all problems and challenges you/ your child is facing with speech, language and and communication. As children improve their speech and communication, they are better able to express their needs, share their thoughts and interact with others. Adults facing any kind of talking/ communication issues, gain their confidence and overcome the challenges with the help of speech therapy.

A typical child follows a sequence of speech and language developmental stages. Any alteration in this sequence due to limited exposure or any other associated condition would result in speech and language developmental delay. Due to speech and language delay, children do not achieve age appropriate milestones in comprehension (understanding) of language and expression (talking). It affects normal development of child. Children may lag behind than their peers. It can affect academics and family dynamics as well. Speech therapy effectively helps you to overcome the delay, expand child’s receptive and expressive vocabulary and improve communication skills. Remember, “EARLY IDENTIFICATION IS THE KEY OF SUCCESSFUL REHABILITATION”. Child starts using adult like language step by step. Above mentioned normal developmental stages can be overlapping. They can vary to a lesser extent. However, there should not be a delay of more than 6 months in achievement of these normal developmental stages. Check out normal speech and language developmental stages of Indian children as per various research papers
Speech and Language Developmental Milestones in Indian children

Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) comprises of a wide range of conditions mainly characterized by challenges with social skills/ appropriate use of language in society (pragmatics), delayed or deviant speech and language development, non verbal communication, repetitive behaviours and sensory issues. Speech therapy helps you to improve language abilities, social interaction and communication.

Children with cerebral palsy can have difficulty in muscle control, weakness in oro motor muscles, delayed language, swallowing issues. Speech therapy can help improve communication, eating and swallowing. It can encourage confidence, learning and socialization.

Formerly known as Mental Retardation. It is characterized by significant limitations in both intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviour. Speech and language development is delayed, speech clarity can be poor which makes it difficult to understand individual’s speech.
Speech therapy can be very beneficial to overcome these issues.

If child has hearing loss, he/she does not get enough exposure to ‘hearing and talking world’. It results into speech and language delay. After fitting of hearing aid/ cochlear implant, child does not start listening and speaking automatically. He/she needs intensive speech and language therapy and auditory training to overcome the delay.

Children with cleft lip and palate have lots of articulation (pronunciation) errors, affected speech clarity and voice resonance issues. These issues persist after surgery as well.
Speech therapy proves to be helpful to achieve better speech and language skills. It may help to reduce nasal speech quality.

Commonly known as “totlapan”. Some children are not able to articulate/ pronounce certain sounds. Articulation disorders affect speech clarity and makes it difficult for other persons to understand child’s speech. Speech therapy helps you to improve your articulation stepwise makes your communication effective.

“Meri aavaj hi pehchaan hai!!!” Every individual has unique voice. However, voice misuse, voice abuse may result in breathy, hoarse and harsh voice. Few male adults have high pitched female like voice (Puberphonia). Voice disorders can affect your social and personal life. It has a huge impact on professional life in cases of professional voice users like singers, voice over artists, actors, public speakers, teachers, sales persons etc. Voice therapy enables you to rediscover and maintain your precious voice. Voice therapy can also be helpful if you want to pursue your career in a field where your voice is required extensively.

Many children as well as adults have stammering/ stuttering which is a huge obstacle in effective communication. It is a fluency disorder causing disrupted flow of speech by involuntary repetitions, prolongations, interjections and blocks. A person having stuttering faces confidence issues, vicious cycle of avoiding and escaping social encounters. It can affect academics and performance at work places.

(Associated with Stroke, Brain Injury, Parkison’s disease etc) Aphasia: Inability to use language correctly. May talk gibberish, irrelevant or repetitive utterances. May forget words and their meanings. Dysarthria: Inability to speak. Weakness in facial muscles and muscles of oral cavity. Dementia: Gradual memory loss. May be associated with cognitive issues. Dysphagia: Difficulty in swallowing. All these neurological conditions restricts individual’s ability to communicate. Swallowing disorders affect your nutrition and physical health. Affects social life and family dynamics as well.
Speech therapy helps you overcome all the restrictions and improve individual’s quality of life.