05 May Does My Friend/Relative Speech Therapy?
Who needs speech therapy?
Unlike childhood speech problems, adult speech problems have no impact on language development. When an adult experiences a speech problem, it comes after that person has already acquired their native language. The problem is that person can no longer use that language as efficiently as he/she once could. Adult communication problems are rarely subtle and often result from some recent trauma, injury or illness. If a relative or friend needs speech therapy, you’ll know it. Read on for more reasons to tell if speech therapy for adults is right for your friend or relative.
Accident or Injury
Anything that damages the part of the brain responsible for speech and language will lead to speech problems. While some problems may resolve themselves as the person heals, often the effects of brain damage are long lasting. Anyone who has had a stroke, been in a car wreck or has experienced some other accident may need speech therapy.
Diseases or Illnesses
Diseases and illnesses make speech difficult by affecting either the brain, muscles, or both. Diseases that hinder the mouth, tongue, teeth and jaw such as oral cancer can cause speaking difficulties. Progressive Neurological Diseases such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis can cause the muscles needed for speaking and breath control to become weak resulting in voice problems and swallowing difficulties.
If you have a friend with a lisp or who stutters, they may have had this speech problem as a child but never had it addressed. Now that problem affects their quality of life as an adult. These problems are difficult to change because they have become embedded in that person’s language. Speech therapy may not be able to “fix” the problem but a speech language pathologist can teach your friend ways to manage, cope or lessen it.
There are many other reasons adults will go to a speech therapist. These reasons may not be actual problems, but that person feels undergoing therapy will help their quality of life. Examples might include actors, news reporters, or radio announcers who go through some kind of accent reduction for their job.