How Does Speech Therapy Address a Speech Delay?

If your child seems to be struggling with speech development, or if you think that s/he should have a more complex vocabulary by a certain age, you’re not alone.  Though speech comes naturally for most of us, it can be frustrating to know that your child is able to comprehend the world around him/her, while simultaneously having trouble expressing himself or herself. You may have asked yourself how speech therapy works, or what speech therapists do – if so, you have come to the right place!

Take a moment to think about everything in your body that has to work in order for you to speak.  Your lips, tongue, teeth and facial muscles all play a part in your ability to speak.  There are many complicated mechanisms all working at the same time, and speech therapists have the most comprehensive understanding of these mechanisms and their development.

Speech Development Evaluation

An evaluation of your child’s speech and language will help a speech therapist determine if in fact speech therapy would be recommended. A speech therapist can obtain the best understanding of just how much speech and language your child comprehends and if he or she is progressing at an age-appropriate rate.

If your child has a speech delay, the therapist can also determine exactly which speech mechanisms are in need of attention.  A speech therapist can initially show your child how to communicate effectively via nonverbal cues, which will enhance communication between parent and child and contribute to the child’s speech development.

How does Speech Therapy treat a Speech Delay?

Therapy for a speech delay is not unlike physical therapy.  When rehabbing an injury, we retrain the body to do the things it once did naturally. With a speech delay, a child has the ability to use and understand language, but his/her speech mechanisms need training.  A speech therapist can develop an individualized plan to strengthen and develop the muscles your child needs in order to communicate verbally.  This is often done in an age-appropriate manner using playful and educational resources. The therapist can show you how to make progress in speech fun, and a part of everyday conversation.

Speech therapy for your child can be very helpful for parents as well; the therapist can share additional exercises that you can practice with your child on a daily basis.  Since speech and language play such a significant role in our everyday lives, your interaction with your child is just as important as your child’s sessions with the speech therapist. A speech-language pathologist can give you a better understanding of how to help him/her develop using everyday interactions with your child.

Addressing Speech Delay with Chicago Speech Therapy