Speech Language Pathology Treatment Programs

Speech Language Pathology

Speech Pathology Topics:

The ability to speak clearly and distinctively is one of the most important corner stones of success in life. Therefore, early detection of speech disorders and speech development problems is one of the most essential tasks for parents, educators and speech therapists alike.
Modern day speech language pathology recognizes a wide number of various developmental phonological disorders and speech problems that could be developed later in a child’s or an adult’s life for many reasons.

Stuttering is inability to speak fluently, without interruptions and silent blocks. Very often individuals who stutter are unable to say certain sounds, experience multiple speaking pauses of various lengths, or/and repeat sounds or words making it very difficult for people surrounding them to understand their speech. The emotional impact of this speech problem along with measures to treat them is addressed by speech language pathology.

Today, two types of stuttered speech problems are recognized, mainly, developmental and acquired. A lot of future stutterers start displaying their first speech problems around 2 ½ years of age and early speech language pathology intervention is a must. Some parents think that by waiting out the problem will go away on its own. While this can happen in some instances, most stuttered speech problems will persist into adolescent years and might even get worse if not addressed in due time. Speech language pathology works on addressing stuttering by employing a number of techniques that work on normalizing vocal flow, regulating breathing, tongue and jaw movements. Patients are coached to prolong their sounds and develop slow, fluent and monotonous speech initially. In the later stages of speech language pathology treatment program, speed of the speech is increased, therefore aiding in eliminating some speech problems.

In case of acquired stuttered speech problems, this can happen as a result of physical or emotional trauma in children or adults. Head trauma, severe emotional stress and tragic events in a child’s or adult’ life could very well trigger a series of speech problems, including stuttered speech. The prognosis of complete cure is much higher in children rather than adult stutterers.

Cluttering is another form of language disorders that are showcased by poorly organized high speed speech patterns with multiple grammatical errors and a high degree of slurring. Some people confuse cluttering with stuttered speech pattern but these disorders are entirely different and require a totally different set of speech language pathology measures. A person with a stuttered speech syndrome has a very well organized thought pattern but is unable to verbally express himself. People who clutter, have an almost opposite problem, they have no problem expressing themselves verbally but are unable to properly organize their thought pattern resulting in speech that is hard to follow. They use multiple filler words, trip over words and slur extensively. Cluttered speech problems are extremely hard to get diagnosed and sometimes it might take years to come up with the proper diagnose and prescribe proper speech language pathology treatment. This speech pathology for this type of disorder is not well understood and treatment options do vary depending on a patient. In clinical studies, patients who clutter showed great improvement by learning to slow down and make a pause in their speech in order to form better sentences and organize their thoughts. Video and audio recordings and play backs with analysis has also been proven helpful in speech language pathology sessions with patients who clutter.

Verbal apraxia is perhaps one of the most widely misdiagnosed speech disorders and is often mistaken for mental retardation, autism and various other conditions. Children with verbal apraxia have trouble sounding out words due to their brain signals’ inability to properly reach the muscles of the mouth, lips, tongue, palate and jaw. It’s more of a motor disorder than a case of mental retardation. Children with apraxia of speech are very intelligent but have trouble forming understandable words and sentences.

Since almost all very young children have initial difficulty of pronouncing words, it may be nearly impossible to evaluate children with verbal dyspraxia until they reach 2 ½ or 3 years of age. At this point speech language pathology therapy is recommended after careful evaluation and testing. Office and home therapy sessions have shown to bring incredible improvement helping children sound out words, speak sentences with proper pronunciation and melody. Very often parents are coached to teach kids the sign language to make up for the lack of communication and ease stress to their inability to speak properly. However, no professional speech language pathologist can say for sure how well your child will respond to the therapy and everything depends on the severity of the condition and willingness of the parents and children to work as a team.

Cleft palate disorders occur as a result of congenital abnormalities and could be caused by mother’s illness, medications taken during pregnancy or a host of genetic factors. Cleft lip and palate is showcased by an obvious separation of lip or palate tissues that will require surgery for cosmetic reasons and to allow a child to eat, drink, swallow and speak better and also to decrease the instances of ear infections that these children are more susceptible to. Most children with cleft palate will most likely need to be evaluated by a speech language pathologist and monitored for speech problems. With proper diagnoses of cleft palate speaking problems and early intervention most children lead happy and healthy lives.