5 Reasons Why Adults Should Attend Speech Therapy
What is Therapy?
So, what exactly is therapy? Therapy usually starts with a therapist. A therapist is someone that is trained to help you work through specific problems or concerns that you may have in your own life. It’s that simple! As you can see, therapy is LITERALLY for everyone. We all – at one point or another – develop a concern that we would like to address, and therapists are trained to help us overcome these things – no matter how big or small they may be.
What is Speech Therapy?
So you have “speech”, and you have “therapy”. But what do they mean together?
Speech therapy works to address speech deficiencies and communication issues, usually referred to as disorders. This therapy is performed by a speech-language pathologist (SLP), who works with a person to identify their speech-related needs and creates an individualized plan to target the person’s speech goals. Speech issues can range from something minor like a slight lisp to something a bit bigger, like aphasia.
Speech therapy is usually associated with children, because, as of 2015, more than 50% of children under the age of 17 received speech services. At a young age, speech therapy can work to address speech issues caused by developmental delays, swallowing disorders, or weak oral muscles. Though that may be the case, the population of adults who are choosing to get speech therapy is only getting larger, and for good reason too. As of 2016, 17.9 million adults in the United States have reported issues in their speech that they’d like to address, and as always, speech therapists are here to help.
5 Reasons Why You Should Get Speech Therapy
That being said… should YOU – an adult – be getting speech therapy? Is it too late for you? Below are 5 reasons why you might consider getting speech therapy sooner rather than later.
1. Accent Reduction or Modification
Did you know that speech therapy can actually be used for accent changes? Whether it’s someone who wants to make their accent less noticeable or acquire a completely new accent, SLPs are trained for this very task.
If English is your second language and you would like to sound a little more fluid when speaking English, consider getting speech therapy! If you’re an actor and you need a little help shaping a different accent for a role, consider getting speech therapy! If your reason for changing your accent is anything in between, then you already know the answer: consider getting SPEECH THERAPY!
Fun fact: our CEO and founder at Speech Matters, Linda Bejoian, says that accent-related queries are one of her favorite speech concerns to tackle!
If you would like to correct your lisp or stutter, or if you have difficulty forming
coherent sentences, then speech therapy is a tool that you should likely consider.
First of all, know that this is nothing to be ashamed of!
Sometimes, our fluency in speech can be affected by difficulty coordinating the (more than 100) necessary muscles to produce speech, mental blocks, or pronunciation discrepancies.
Maybe you want to be able to communicate with your boss better at work when they ask you about your performance. Maybe you’re tired of struggling to get your words out when you become a little too nervous or excited. Maybe you feel like people don’t take you seriously enough because of your speech difficulty. SLPs can definitely help you work through your goals to get your speech where you want it to be!
Surprisingly, speech therapy doesn’t just help you with your own speaking, but it can also help you understand what OTHERS are saying to you. If you’ve found yourself having a little trouble understanding the speech of others, or even struggling with reading, then speech therapy might be the missing puzzle piece you’ve been looking for.
SLPs have a treasure chest of strategies that can help you strengthen your comprehension skills. For example, a speech therapist can help you by practicing speaking or reading with you and asking you questions to help direct your focus to what you just heard or read. These practices can help retrain your brain to improve your comprehension skills, and what better way to do that than to do it with a professional?
4. Public Speaking
The fear of public speaking is also an issue that speech therapists can help you nip it in the bud. How can speech therapy help with stage fright, you may ask? Well, an SLP can actually work with you to gain the confidence that you need in order to deliver your speech fluently and efficiently.
By helping you reduce your anxiety levels, speech therapy can help you relax so that you can feel comfortable speaking in front of people – whether it's a one-on-one conversation or an important speech in front of thousands of people. Speech therapists are knowledgeable about the relationship between body language and speech, which is something that can also help you execute your conversations as confidently and powerfully as possible.
Aphasia is perhaps one of the most common disorders that speech therapists treat in adults over the age of 65. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate, and it is caused by damage to an area of the brain that is responsible for language expression and comprehension. This is most commonly seen in people who have experienced a stroke or brain injury.
Speech therapy is beneficial for aphasia patients because SLPs work closely with the patient and their families to help reduce speech impairments and rehabilitate their language skills. Often, speech therapists find it beneficial to use alternate communication methods, like speech devices and pictures, to help facilitate communication for the patient as their speech is strengthened.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with aphasia, then feel free to call us at Speech Matters for an evaluation. Many of our SLPs have treated various aphasia patients and are more than willing to work with you!
So… What Does This Mean For Me?
If you are an adult who was on the fence about getting speech therapy and has resonated with any of the 5 reasons listed above, then hopefully we convinced you that speech therapy is useful, even as an adult!
Speech is truly unique and individualized – no two people speak the same, have the same concerns, nor progress the same. That being said, we hope that you would put your trust in us, Speech Matters, to help address your speech-related needs, whatever they may be. Remember, Speech Matters, because YOUR speech Matters!
For more information about our speech therapy services, feel free to explore the rest of our website. Specifically, for more information regarding speech therapy for adults at Speech Matters, click here. Keep in mind that we do offer speech therapy both in-office and via teletherapy, Monday through Saturday!