BENEFITS OF SPEECH THERAPY
Helps with Communication
Providing those without a voice a way to communicate through unaided and/or aided communication (e.g. no-tech communication books, low and mid-tech communication devices, high tech communication devices, and/or communication apps). Speech and language therapy is not just about speech; it also includes language. Many people have a misconception that speech therapy is just about the speech but it is so much more than that.
Helps with Social Skills
Appropriate pragmatic/social skills are a key component of interacting with others in their community and life. When you have limited, or have no functional speech, pragmatic language skills are often significantly delayed and disordered. Social skills can be targeted with the use of video modeling, role-playing, specific therapy apps, social stories, and other various strategies and tools. The use of aided communication with these strategies to work on improving these social skills is important.
Helps with Reading
Reading and literacy skills can significantly aid in communication. When you can spell, you can communicate freely. Teaching these essential skills can be the key to better communication with others.
Enhances Alternative Communication Methods
Work on other communication strategies to aid communication such as gestures, sign language, approximations, vocalizations, and/or other means of communication. As humans, we communicate with a total communication approach. We communicate via speech, facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, writing, typing, and many other forms of communication.
Teaching on how to communicate in other ways in addition to a formal means of aided communication (e.g. use the sign for “bathroom”, “eat” and “drink”, tap on a person’s shoulder to get their attention, etc). Also, if a child has specific sounds that are being used consistently, make them meaningful. For example, if a child can say “ha,” use that for “help”. For the approximation, “ba” you might use that for “book” if that is important to that specific individual.
Reduces Communication Frustrations
Speech therapy helps children improve their communication skills with other children and adults. It focuses on improving speech muscles through special exercises. Speech exercises involve repeating sounds and imitating the speech therapist.