It can be difficult to know whether you or your child should seek speech therapy. If you or your child have experienced prolonged difficulty speaking or swallowing, our speech pathologists at Ahava Medical & Rehabilitation Center would love to help you with your speech and language development so that you can communicate to the best of your ability.
What does speech therapy involve?
With speech therapy, you or your child will work with a speech-language pathologist (SLP) to improve various speech impairments and disorders in various settings, such as one-on-one, small groups, or in a classroom. Depending on the nature of you or your child’s speech impairment, your SLP will customize your treatment so that you can receive the best results. Speech therapy strategies include:
- Articulation therapy: The SLP will demonstrate correct sounds and syllables in words and sentences for the patient during activities that are age-appropriate and relevant to the specific needs of the patient.
- Language activities: Activities that include playing and talking through the use of books, pictures, objects, or events to stimulate language development and build speech and language skills.
- Oral-motor/feeding and swallowing therapy: This strategy focuses on skills that are necessary for proper speech and feeding or swallowing development by strengthening and coordinating movement in the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw.
What are the three basic types of speech impairments?
The three basic types of speech impairments are:
- Articulation disorders: This type of speech impairment involves difficulty in articulating certain sounds, which often manifests as slurred speech, indistinct speech, or the substitution of one sound for another.
- Fluency disorders: Stuttering is the most common type of a fluency disorder, and is characterized by repetitions, blockages, sound prolongations, and interjections which disrupt the flow of speaking.
- Voice disorders: This condition involves abnormal pitch, loudness, or sound produced by the larynx. Voice disorders can be caused by vocal cord paralysis, or vocal fold nodules or cysts.
When should you consider speech therapy?
While it can be difficult to know what is normal given the age of the person with the speech impairment, early intervention to speech impairments leads to the most positive outcomes. The longer a speech impairment is allowed to continue, the more difficult it will be to unlearn the habit of improper pronunciation or speech. Many speech impairments resolve themselves by age 4. However, if the impairments persist past this age, it is best to seek the help of a speech-language pathologist.
What is the difference between a speech therapist and speech pathologist?
There is effectively no difference between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist. The terms are interchangeable, but often those within the profession describe themselves as speech pathologists, or more accurately, speech-language pathologists, while those outside of the profession often refer to those in the speech therapy profession as speech therapists.
How can a speech pathologist help my child?
A speech pathologist can help your child learn proper speech and pronunciation skills in a fun and positive environment that is age appropriate and meets your child where they are at.
Is speech therapy covered by insurance?
At Ahava Medical & Rehabilitation Center, we cover most major insurance providers. However, speech therapy is not always covered by insurance providers. Consequently, we recommend getting in touch with your insurance provider directly to find out if they will cover speech therapy.
Can speech pathologists diagnose autism?
While a speech pathologist cannot diagnose autism independently, they can collaborate in an interdisciplinary context with individuals who have expertise in diagnosing autism. If an interdisciplinary and collaborative team is not available, there are instances where a speech pathologist can diagnose autism with the proper training and qualifications. That said, speech pathologists are trained to treat individuals with autism in speech related difficulties.
Can a speech therapist diagnose dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a condition that falls squarely within the purview of speech pathology, and while some SLP’s are qualified to diagnose dyslexia, others do not always feel entirely comfortable if their education has not comprehensively covered the condition. Thus, like autism, SLP’s often collaborate with other experts to provide a diagnosis for dyslexia.
If you would like to learn more about speech therapy at Ahava Medical & Rehabilitation Center, or would like to book an appointment for you or your child, we would love to hear from you! You can call us today at (718) 790-4270, or you can simply book an appointment on our website. Our office is located at 2555 Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn, New York. Our facility is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and also on Sundays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.