Most people think of speech therapy as a way to improve articulation and pronunciation. While these are important goals of speech therapy, the truth is that speech therapy can do so much more. Speech therapists, or speech-language pathologists (SLP) are highly trained professionals who work with clients on a variety of communication and swallowing issues. Let’s take a look at some of the other areas where speech-language pathologists make a difference in people’s lives.
Social Skills & Pragmatic Language
Many of us take for granted the ability to effectively communicate with others. For some though, social and communication skills don’t come as easily as they do for others. That’s where speech-language pathologists come in! Speech-language pathologists specialize in teaching social skills and pragmatic language, which encompasses things like understanding sarcasm or body language, taking turns in conversation, using appropriate facial expressions, and understanding nonverbal communication cues like facial expressions or tone of voice. Working with a speech therapist can help you or your loved one better understand how to interact with others in both personal and professional settings.
Language Development & Reading Comprehension
Speech therapy can also help individuals who struggle with language development due to hearing loss or developmental delays. A speech therapist can provide support in areas such as vocabulary building, grammar, word retrieval, syntax and sentence structure, reading comprehension, and even writing skills. Depending on the individual or child’s specific needs and goals, an SLP may use tools like books or computer programs to further enhance their language learning experience and build their self confidence.
Aural Rehabilitation & Auditory Processing Disorder
For those with hearing loss or auditory processing disorder (APD), an SLP can provide invaluable support through aural rehabilitation services (also known as “listening training”). Aural rehab sessions often involve activities such as using assistive technology devices (like hearing aids), learning lip-reading techniques (known as “speechreading”), improving sound discrimination abilities using auditory memory exercises, practicing listening strategies for conversations in noisy environments like restaurants or parties, etc. All of these activities aim to improve communication abilities for those struggling with hearing loss or APD.
Autism & Other Medical Conditions
Speech Language Pathologists also work with individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as those impacted by a stroke, brain injury, dementia or other cognitive impairments to address communication and swallowing needs. Depending on the individual’s specific needs and goals, a speech language pathologist may provide assistance with activities like improving attention span or understanding facial expressions. They can also provide support in the area of functional cognitive retraining, which focuses on helping a person relearn everyday activities such as money management or scheduling.
As you can see from this overview of various speech therapy services, there is so much more that a speech language pathologist can do beyond helping you improve your accent or articulation skills! If you are considering working with a speech language pathologist but aren’t sure if it is right for your situation then reach out to one today! If you’re located in Southeastern NC, feel free to contact our team at Eastern Therapy to see how we can help you. With the help of an experienced speech-language pathologist you will be able to find success no matter what your goal may be!