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Who needs speech therapy?
Speech therapy is beneficial for children and adults with communication disorders. It can also help people with hearing impairments or those who have difficulty swallowing. Your healthcare provider may recommend speech therapy to help with:
People with aphasia can have difficulty reading, writing, speaking and understanding language. The condition can develop when areas of your brain that process language are damaged by stroke or injury.
People with apraxia know what they want to say, but have trouble forming the words. They may have trouble with reading, writing, swallowing or other motor skills.
Children with articulation disorders are unable to produce certain word sounds. For example, they may substitute one sound for another — like saying “wed” instead of “red” or “thith” instead of “this.” Early intervention speech therapy can help with articulation disorders.
When the area of your brain that controls your thinking ability is damaged, it can result in difficulty communicating. People with cognitive-communication disorders may have issues with listening, speaking, memory and problem-solving.
Sometimes, the muscles that control your speech become weak due to stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or other nervous system disorders. People with dysarthria may have slow or slurred speech.
People with expressive disorders may have difficulty getting words out or conveying their thoughts. Expressive disorders are linked to stroke or other neurological events, developmental delays or hearing loss.
Fluency disorders disrupt the speed, flow and rhythm of speech. Stuttering (speech that’s interrupted or blocked) is a fluency disorder. So is cluttering (speech that’s merged together and fast).
People with receptive disorders have difficulty comprehending or processing what others are saying. As a result, they may have a limited vocabulary, trouble following directions or they may seem uninterested in conversation.
Conditions affecting your oral or nasal cavities may block airflow and alter the vibrations responsible for sound. Resonance disorders are linked to cleft palate, swollen tonsils and other conditions that affect the structure of these body parts.