What goes on in speech therapy?

General questions

When working with a student on production of speech sounds, I teach the student how to hold the articulators (lips, tongue, jaw, etc) to adequately shape the target speech sound.  Since not all mouths are exactly the same size and shape, sometimes we have to experiment around with the student trying different ways to configure the mouth until we find the way that child can make the sound we want with ease.  Some speech sounds are harder than others to change.  Sometimes the child cannot actually hear the correct sound and we teach discrimination.  Once the correct oral configuration is found, the student engages in speech drills with the target sound practicing the correct form until it becomes easy and generalizes into conversational, or everyday speech.

Language is the content and ideas of the message we are communicating to one another whether is in talking or writing.  Language therapy targets those areas of disruption in getting the message across:
 
Language Disorders
  • Receptive Language- difficulty understanding language
  • Expressive Language- difficulty using language
  • Pragmatic Language- social communication; the way we speak to each other

 

Most treatment programs for people who stutter are "behavioral." They are designed to teach the person specific skills or behaviors that lead to improved oral communication. For instance, many SLPs teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak. In addition, people may learn to start saying words in a slightly slower and less physically tense manner. They may also learn to control or monitor their breathing. When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural. "Follow-up" or "maintenance" sessions are often necessary after completion of formal intervention to prevent relapse.