Busting Speech Therapy Myths
People often associate speech therapists as someone who only treats severe speech problems in children, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A speech therapist reaches beyond speech issues and assists those with language disorders, cognitive disorders, and other communication difficulties.
Myth: Online Speech Therapy is Inferior to Face-to-Face Therapy
No evidence exists to support this myth. There is, in fact, very little difference between online speech therapy and face to face speech therapy. For some people, online speech therapy may not be simply more convenient. but it may be more beneficial for everyone involved. Online speech therapy takes into consideration some of the barriers that face to face speech therapy entails, such as mobility and distance. Those who utilize online speech therapy gain the same benefits of face to face speech therapy by being able to work with a speech therapist in real time via a secure internet connection.
Myth: Speech Therapy is Only About Talking
Probably one of the most common and misunderstood myths is the notion that speech therapy only focuses on talking. Perhaps it’s because when we see the word speech, we think of spoken words, while speech therapy encompasses not just talking, but how patients communicate. As we know, communication can be verbal and non-verbal. For many patients, speech therapy includes tools to help them communicate. However, speech therapy includes language comprehension and dysphagia, more commonly known as swallowing disorder.
Myth: Speech Therapy is Only for Children
Speech therapists treat everyone from the very young to the very old. Many elderly patients who are in the throes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease struggle with communication functions. Those who have had a traumatic brain injury may sometimes be left with cognitive problems or trouble communicating effectively in order to live on their own or express their feelings and needs.
Myth: Children Grow out of Language Delays
It is true that some children do grow out of language delays, but the fact remains that it doesn’t happen for every child. Those children who do grow out of language delays and seem to catch up to their peers may still have problems when it comes to reading and writing later on. If you suspect your child may have a language delay, you might consider a wait and see attitude, but it’s almost always better to have your child screened sooner than later.
Myth: You Can’t Screen for Speech Problems Until Your Child is in School
Fortunately, speech therapy is based on a child’s needs, not a child’s age, so those children who have needs later can benefit from the services speech therapy offers. There are a number of factors that determine when screening for speech issues can be done, but none have to do with the age of a child. One variable is where the child currently functions in terms of language, cognitive, or speech development. This means that some children may be eligible for therapy before starting school, while other children may not have a need for therapy until they are a tween or teen.