Speech therapy is essentially a combination of different techniques and activities that help in improving communication and speech among individuals from all age groups. Individuals experiencing delays or disorders in expressing themselves through language, understanding others, articulating themselves, or fluency. Speech therapy may also be required when individuals may have cognitive troubles or issues with feeding or swallowing.
How Does A Speech Therapy Session Work?
A speech therapy session starts with a customized or standardized plan depending on your child’s needs. For customized plans, children are given therapy in one-to-one sessions which can be pretty expensive, whereas for standard plans children may be treated in group sessions which may be considerably cheaper.
These therapy sessions usually employ picture books, repetition, and language activities. Sound exercises and facial massages are also a crucial part of speech therapy. Tongue-moving and facial expression demonstrations are also a part of speech therapy. Oral feeding exercises, swallowing, lip movement, jaw exercises, and oral movements are also a component of speech therapy.
Speech therapy is essentially common in children of various ages who are experiencing any of the above issues, and every child therapy program is developed by expert pathologists taking into view their respective needs.
If you notice a child around you experiencing speech issues, or have a parent you know with their Google search looking like “pediatric speech therapy near me”, keep reading to find five reasons why speech therapy is important for children to further fortify their belief.
1. It Helps Them Communicate
One of the obvious benefits of speech therapy is that it helps children communicate better. There are a million things that your child may want to tell you, but speech issues may not let them do so.
It also enables communication through aided communication tools and helps children work on their language skills. Children who aren’t able to communicate may not be able to perform at school and may experience learning dysfunction which makes speech therapy and communication all the more important.
2. It Helps Them Fit In Socially
Speech therapy greatly helps children fit in social settings. Social skills are an important part of life skills, and speech therapy helps children attain these skills sooner. When children have limited or poor functional speech, they tend to be awkward in social situations, disorderly in relationships, and have an overall poor social circle.
Speech therapy uses video modeling, social stories, and role-playing to develop social skills among children. Children who use aided communication tools also benefit socially from speech therapy.
3. It Helps With Alternative Forms Of Communication
In addition to speech and speaking skills, speech therapy also helps children with alternative forms of communication such as speaking through gestures and sign language. Humans communicate in multiple ways, and language is just one part of a child’s communication. Children communicate through facial expressions, vocalizations, eye contact, and writing, which altogether contribute to their communication.
Speech therapy helps children deal with all such alternative forms of communication, which are essential life skills that children need to grow and excel in their life. When children fail to communicate through alternative forms, they may get frustrated with their surroundings and further close themselves, however, speech therapy helps them limit their frustration.
4. It Helps Them In Cognitive Development
Children who experience speech issues tend to have slower cognitive development due to them not being able to read, write and listen as well as other children. Speech therapy, hence, helps children develop cognitively as they can focus on school work with increased clarity and attention.
By being able to speak, read, write and listen at par with other children their age, speech therapy enables struggling children to excel with the added training and skills that they receive. Children who experience speech issues tend to be non-participative in class and stay away from teamwork, however, speech therapy enables them to overcome all such issues.
5. It Helps Increase Confidence And Reduces Anxiety
Children who suffer from speech-related issues tend to experience increased anxiety and poor self-confidence. Children who are not able to communicate effectively tend to have poor self-esteem, do not relate to their classmates and experience high anxiety in social situations. Speech therapy, however, helps children deal with all such issues by helping them learn the nuances of communication, both aided and unaided, both verbal and non-verbal.
Pediatric speech therapists help children deal with anxiety in such situations by helping them communicate better, and showing them how to stay calm in situations where their communication skills stutter. Speech therapy includes teaching children alternate routes for communication when one route doesn’t go in their favor.
Without a doubt, speech therapy is essential for children of all ages. The above-mentioned benefits summarize why speech therapy is essential for kids, and why parents shouldn’t delay the provision of therapy if their children suffer from any symptoms associated with speech therapy.