Speech Therapists: What do they do?

When you think of a speech therapist, what do you think of?

I used to think they just helped kids learn to speak correctly and in a manner where they could be understood.. WRONG! Speech therapists do so many other things and help all ages, not just children. Speech therapists not only diagnose and treat speech/language disorders, they also diagnose and treat swallowing disorders.

Speech therapists help with articulation, which is when a person has trouble saying certain sounds. For example, if a child says, “wun” instead of “run”, that is an articulation problem.

They also help with fluency disorders which is when a person has trouble with repeating certain sounds (commonly referred to as stuttering) or when they have trouble saying a complete word.

Resonance or voice disorders is another thing speech therapists help with. Resonance is the nasality of the voice. It may sound like the person is talking through their nose or they may not be nasal enough.

Not only does a speech therapist help with speech disorders, they also help with language disorders. A language disorder is when someone may have trouble understanding what someone else is trying to tell them. They may have trouble expressing what they are feeling or may have trouble gathering their thoughts.

Swallowing disorders affect more people than we realize. It is very important for speech therapists to diagnose and treat people with swallowing disorders. If left undiagnosed, many fatalities could occur.