Here are some common questions that I run into when working in a school or a clinic setting from professionals and parents.
Q: Is there a difference between Speech and Language Therapy?
A: Yes! Speech and Language therapy two different entities. A speech disorder refers to a problem with the actual production of sounds, whereas a language disorder refers to a difficulty understanding or appropriately putting words together to communicate ideas.
Q: Are there different types of speech disorders?
A: Yes, there are four main areas:
- An Articulation disorder or Phonological disorder. An articulation disorder refers to incorrect sound production. A phonological disorder refers to incorrect sound patterns. These disorders can greatly reduce intelligibility in conversation.
- A Fluency disorder refers to stuttering. This is when the flow of speech is characterized by abnormal stops, repetitions, and/or prolonging sounds.
- A Voice disorder refers to problems with pitch, volume, or quality of the voice.
- Dysphagia/oral feeding disorders refer to difficulties with eating and swallowing.
Q: Are there different types of language disorders?
A: Yes, there are two main areas:
- A Receptive disorder is characterized by difficultly understanding or processing language.
- A Expressive disorder is characterized by difficulty expressing thoughts and wants/needs, limited vocabulary, or inability to use language in a socially appropriate way.
Q: What types of interventions are used in speech/language therapy?
A: There are numerous types of interventions based on what deficits are present. Listed below are some of the most widely used therapies.
- Interventions for articulation and phonological disorders: minimal pair therapy, paired auditory, visual, and tactile stimuli in intensive drills, traditional articulation therapy (Van Riper, 1978), and training sound combinations (CV, VC, CVC…).
- Interventions for fluency disorders: fluency shaping, traditional stuttering therapy (Van Riper, 1958), and diaphragmatic breathing.
- Interventions for voice disorders: teaching good vocal hygiene, reducing/stopping vocal abusive behaviors, altering pitch, volume, or breathe support, and stress reduction/relaxation exercises.
- Interventions for dysphagia/oral feeding disorder: sensory stimulation, pacing/feeding strategies, oral motor exercises, maneuvers, adaptive equipment/utensils, diet modification, postural/positioning techniques, and behavioral interventions.
- Interventions for expressive language disorders: increasing vocabulary, teaching strategies for social language, increasing ability to answer WH questions, augmentative devices, and strategies to increase syntax skills.
- Interventions for receptive language disorders: increasing vocabulary, strategies to improve the ability to follow directions, and strategies to improve comprehension of WH questions.
Blog By: Mary Williams- Anderson
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