According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association, speech therapy is defined as the services provided to people with speech, language, and hearing disorders to help them communicate effectively. Communication includes speech, language, both receptive and expressive language, and non-verbal communication such as facial expression, posture, and gesture. Swallowing problems managed under speech therapy are problems in the oral and pharyngeal stages of swallowing. Speech therapy services typically include but are not limited to:
- Examination and evaluation of impairments, functional limitations, disabilities, or changes in speech-language-hearing functions.
- Physical strengthening exercises to improve oral motor function.
- Instructive or repetitive practice and drilling to improve language understanding and motor function.
- Use of audio-visual aids and strategies to facilitate functional communication.
- Instruction, education, and guidance to patient, family members, and caregivers.
Common Conditions and Injuries Treated
- Speech and language disorders such as dyarthria and speech apraxia.
- Swallowing disorders such as dysphagia.
- Cognitive-communication disorders such as fluency and articulation disorders.
For more information about speech therapy, please visit the American Speech Language Hearing Association website www.asha.org.