Speech therapy – An Overview

Health Insurance Plans starting at Rs.15/day*

Health Insurance Plans starting at Rs.15/day*

Speech therapy is employed to assess and treat speech and communication-related issues. It assists individuals in progressing skills like understanding, voice, fluency, clarity and sound production.

Both speech disorders in children and speech impairment in adults can be treated with speech therapy. This can be a result of brain injury, stroke or certain other conditions.


Speech therapy does wonders by helping people with trouble in speaking communicate more effectively and overcome the hurdles that come with speech difficulties.

Speech therapy aims to improve pronunciation, teach individuals to talk properly and strengthen the muscles required for speech.

Various speech problems and diseases can be handled with speech therapy. The issues can be minor, from a scratchy voice to complete speech loss resulting from brain damage.

Speech issues, language disorders and swallowing difficulties are a few concerns that can be treated with speech therapy.

How does it work?

A speech therapist, commonly referred to as a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), is the key person for consultation regarding speech and communication issues. They assess, diagnose and treat speech-related problems.

Children with developmental delay and adults who are speech impaired due to injury or sickness benefit from this treatment.

The process of treatment is determined by various factors like age and speech disorder type.

For children, it usually entails activities such as sequencing tasks or language-based board games. For adults, it focuses on upgrading or rebuilding specific skill sets.

The speech-language pathologist will make therapy recommendations depending on the specific case.

Different types of speech therapy 

Speech therapy is categorized based on the age group.

Speech therapy for children

Speech therapy is employed to benefit children having difficulty pronouncing certain words or who show no interest in speaking. Exercises are used in this therapy to assist the children to improve their ability to talk.

Speech therapy for adults 

Speech therapy is essential for adults who have impaired speech due to a stroke, concussion, severe brain injury, multiple sclerosis or conditions like Parkinson’s disease.

Speech therapy for children  

There are innumerable causes for speech loss or disability. An extreme trauma experienced by a child might have resulted in delayed verbal processing. The setback can also be because of genetic abnormality.

Speech therapy priorities improving and strengthening a child’s communication potential.

Language activities 

Language disorder occurs when a child cannot comprehend or communicate simple words. Language impairment can hinder a child’s ability to speak, name things and construct sentences.

Hearing abnormalities and brain developmental disorders can cause linguistic problems. Language activities are critical to overcoming the issue and developing communication. Speech therapists can help before it’s too late.

Articulation activities 

Articulation disorder is a typical condition in which a child experiences difficulty saying specific words or producing certain sounds correctly.

The lisp is the most frequent articulation issue in children. They may replace one sound for another. For example, they may pronounce ‘thand’ instead of ‘stand’.

Articulation difficulties can be helped with early intervention speech therapy.

Feeding and swallowing therapy

Feeding therapy is provided by a speech therapist who assists a child in learning to eat better. Struggles in eating with a spoon, sucking, sipping and chewing are examples of feeding disorders.

Apraxia and dysphagia also cause feeding and swallowing problems. These issues can bring about social, educational and health issues.

An SLP with experience in feeding and swallowing can examine the child’s eating and drinking habits, and provide treatment accordingly.


Speech pathologists use exercises to engage the children, thereby encouraging them to speak.

Oral motor exercises help improve speech and enhance oral motor skills. These include

  • Flashcards and question cards
  • Hop and speak
  • Mirror exercise
  • Lip movements
  • Tongue and cheek movements
  • Catch game
  • Tuning the harmonica

Speech therapy for adults 

Adults can benefit from speech therapy in so many ways. Treatment will differ depending on the origin of the speech problem and the goal in the process.

Speech therapy for adults is a healing technique that addresses a wide range of language, voice, articulation and feeding issues that people face. It heals them effectively to improve communication and social engagement.

Social communications 

Individuals can communicate or connect with others within a societal framework via social communication. When this is hampered, life becomes difficult for a person.

Speech therapy aims to refine the process of social communication by boosting social cognition, social contact, language processing and pragmatics.

Breathing exercises 

Breathing exercises are often implemented in speech and language therapy. It is used for people who have trouble controlling their voice or sequencing.

It works by coordinating voice, articulation and breathing in order to achieve successful communication.

Adults with speech disorders, head and neck cancer or stammering may benefit from breathing exercises.

Mouth exercises 

Oral motor exercises are performed by individuals with speech troubles as a part of speech therapy. They help strengthen and coordinate the muscles of the mouth, thereby building on the ability to eat, speak and drink.

These exercises are specialised ones aimed at improving oral muscle coordination, control and strength.

Adults with dyspraxia, speech abnormalities, physical limitations and neurological issues are effectively benefited from this treatment strategy.

When oral-motor exercises are combined with breathing and speech exercises, speech clarity can be greatly improved.

Swallowing exercises 

Swallowing muscle exercises help to train the muscles to work together to aid the swallowing process.

These exercises alter the intensity of swallowing movements in order to safely transport food or liquid from the mouth and throat to the oesophagus.

Food and liquid consistency are modified with the exercises to increase control and allow for safe oral ingestion.

Conditions of speech therapy  

Certain conditions cause speech disorders that may require speech therapy.


Sluttering, commonly known as stammering, is a childhood-onset fluency disorder. It is a speech condition where people experience difficulty with normal fluency and flow of speech on a regular basis.

Speech therapy might help a person slow down the speech and recognize stuttering. With practice, one can progress to a more natural speech pattern. 


Aphasia is a condition that affects a person’s capacity to read, write, talk and understand languages.

When parts of the brain that process language are affected by stroke or injury, the condition might occur.

Articulation disorders  

Children with articulation difficulties mispronounce certain words. For example, they may say ‘nana’ instead of ‘banana’. Speech therapy can help treat this issue.

Specific language impairment  

Speech and language impairments include sluttering, language or voice impairment and articulation difficulties. This can negatively impact a child’s progress and education.

Treatment is determined by the individual’s age. 

Treatment for school-going children may focus on comprehending classroom instruction.

Adults who are starting higher education, new employment or vocational programmes may want assistance in learning technical vocabulary or enhancing their workplace writing skills.

Resonance disorders 

Resonance disorder is a condition where a child speaks a word or sentence briefly before mumbling halfway through.

Airflow may be obstructed and sound vibrations may be altered by this condition as it affects the mouth and nasal canal.

Speech therapists manage mild resonance disorders. Severe cases may require surgery as a part of the treatment.

Alternatives of speech therapy

Alternate speech therapy might be necessary for people with speech disorders, especially for children as it engages them better and enhances the outcome.

Music therapy

Music therapy

Music helps with speech therapy. Music therapists employ musical vocalisation to help people retrain their voices.

Since music engages parts of the brain involved in communication, it can aid speaking.

Neurofeedback treatment  

Neurofeedback is a type of therapy that allows people to train their brainwaves. This is utilised for improving their cognitive abilities.

Neurofeedback is implemented to treat anxiety, depressionmigraines, speech obstacle, learning impairments and stuttering.

Parent implemented language interventions  

Parent implemented language interventions are executed for late talkers. It improves a child’s language outcomes by developing their linguistic surrounding.

Parent speech input is vital in the improvement of a child. Kids with supportive parents accomplish their treatment and see prolonged results sooner.


Speech therapy is a treatment strategy for children and adults with speech and language impairments. A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is consulted for providing speech therapy.

Communication and speech improvement can be done via therapies as well as at-home exercises guided by a speech therapist. It helps individuals with speaking trouble enhance their ability to converse clearly.


1.What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a treatment that can aid in the improvement of communication abilities. It is also known as speech-language therapy.

2.What are some examples of speech therapy?

Language activities, articulation activities, feeding and swallowing therapy and exercises are a few examples of speech therapy.

3.What age is best for speech therapy? 

The optimal age for speech therapy is when a child falls behind their developmental milestones or when an adult experiences speech troubles.
Starting speech therapy is never too soon or too late. Children with speech impairment usually commence their therapy at around 18 months of age.

4.What does a speech therapist do? 

Speech-language pathologists work with children and adults to regulate speech problems in them. They prevent, assess, diagnose and treat issues with language, speech, social communication, cognitive development and swallowing.

5.How is speech therapy done for adults? 

Many factors influence the strategies, methods and intensity of the therapy for adults. The speech therapy technique focuses on improving communication and speech delivery. Customised exercises are provided to help achieve individualised goals.

6.How do adults fix speech problems? 

Treatment options are usually determined by the severity of the speech impairment and its cause. Speech problems can be fixed through
Exercises in speech therapy – This focuses on increasing familiarity with specific words or sounds
Physical activities – It aims at improving the muscles that help with speech sounds.

7.How can I improve my adult speech?

Adult speech can be improved by certain at-home techniques like tongue exercises, puckering the lips, reading out loud, smiling and playing word games.

8.What are some speech therapy techniques? 

Articulation therapy, language intervention therapy, feeding therapy, swallowing therapy and oral motor therapy are some of the techniques of speech therapy.

9.How can I do speech therapy at home?

Speech therapy can be done at home via exercises and activities.
Children can benefit from exercises as well as games such as flashcards, reading, mirror exercises and lip, tongue and cheek movements.
Certain at-home activities, such as tongue exercises, reading aloud, puckering lips, smiling and playing word games can help adults improve their speech.

10.At what age do late talkers talk? 

Late talkers are children who face speaking difficulty even after 18 – 30 months of birth.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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