When you think about speech impediments or disorders, chances are your mind immediately goes to young children stuttering or lisping. In reality, however, adults can also suffer from various disorders that may cause them to experience difficulty in vocal communication. And they can benefit immensely from working with a speech therapist.
Who is a speech therapist?
A speech therapist, also known as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), is a medical professional who assesses and treats communication problems and speech disorders. They use various therapy techniques to help their patients with articulation disorders, fluency disorders, resonance disorders, expressive disorders, receptive disorders, and more.
If you are an adult suffering from any type of speech impediment, there is no shame in seeking therapy. Here are some of the reasons why you might need speech therapy as an adult:
- Brain injury
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can cause damage to your brain, which can result in several speech and language disorders. Here are two of the most common ones:
Aphasia is a type of speech disorder that is caused by damage to that area of the brain which controls language expression and comprehension. It can not only affect the way you speak but also impede your ability to write and understand language. While many people develop aphasia from a stroke, TBI is another leading cause.
Apraxia is a neurological disorder that is caused by brain disease or injury. There are various types of apraxia but the one that specifically affects verbal and speech development is buccofacial apraxia. Also known as facial-oral apraxia, it makes the patient incapable of carrying out facial and lip movements on command.
Stuttering is one of the most common speech disorders that causes a person to repeat words or generally have a hard time enunciating or finishing them. While there are many causes of stuttering, it is further aggravated by feelings of excitement or nervousness. A speech therapist can help alleviate this issue by addressing your situational fears and asking you to practice various exercises to minimize stuttering.
Dysphagia refers to the problem of difficulty in swallowing. People suffering from oral dysphagia are unable to use their lips, tongue, and mouth to control what they eat or drink. Those suffering from pharyngeal dysphagia may have difficulty controlling the solids and liquids in their throat when swallowing due to weaker muscles and a lack of coordination. This may lead to coughing or choking. This can only be treated through proper therapy.
These are only a few reasons why you might need speech therapy or speech pathology in California later in life. It is also important to keep in mind that if you had any speech impediments in childhood that were left untreated or undiagnosed, they might continue to afflict you during your adulthood.
Get in touch with me at Clear Accent Speech Therapy if you need speech therapy in California. I am a skilled speech-language pathologist with more than two decades of experience offering therapy to patients suffering from various speech and language disorders. I can also help you modify your accent so that people are able to understand you better.