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Has your daily life ever been altered by an illness, injury or disability? If so, you’ve probably worked with a rehabilitation therapist. One type of rehabilitation therapy is speech therapy, which is the diagnosis and treatment of communication, speech and swallowing disorders.
Speech therapists work with patients at every stage of life, from newborns to elderly folks. Although it’s most often associated with children, doctors may recommend speech therapy at any age.
Newborn and infant speech therapy
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) provide support to newborns and caregivers from birth when a feeding problem is recognized. Newborns and infants who have difficulty with breastfeeding, formula feeding or swallowing may benefit from speech therapy, depending on the root cause of the issue. SLPs offer feeding strategies, positioning tips and appropriate bottle types to ensure the baby’s nutrition needs are met.
SLPs also provide language acquisition support to infants and toddlers. The first few years of life are a crucial time for language development. During this period, some babies struggle to master developmental milestones at the same time as others. Since this could signify a language delay or disorder, a pediatrician may refer the child to a speech therapist for assessment, early diagnosis and treatment.
Child and adolescent speech therapy
Up to 1 in 20 children exhibit language disorder symptoms, and many benefit from speech therapy. These children may have difficulty developing the skills needed to talk to or interact with others. Children who struggle with creating specific speech sounds, voicing appropriately or stuttering also benefit from therapy.
Because there are many possible causes for communication, speech or swallowing disorders, treatment plans are highly individualized. If you’re concerned about your child’s language development, talk to their pediatrician. They can help you decide if pursuing speech therapy is the right choice. Early treatment makes a difference.
Speech therapy for adults
Although speech therapy is often associated with children and adolescents, adults can also benefit. Following a major event or a life-altering diagnosis, a person in recovery may need help regaining the ability to speak, eat or drink. Speech therapists provide exercises and strategies to help people return to these activities safely and efficiently.
Speech therapists also work with adults of all ages to address other important areas including speech, language, voice and cognition. SLPs will develop treatment goals based on the patient’s specific needs, with a focus on successfully returning to previously enjoyed activities.
By working together with radiologists, audiologists, pulmonologists, neurologists, pediatricians and other medical professionals, SLPs can help their patients address any speech, language or swallowing issues they have.
Patients and caregivers can call 856-641-7875 to learn more about Inspira’s speech therapy programs for infants, pediatrics, adolescents and adults.
Inspira Health is a high reliability organization (HRO), which means safety is the top priority for patients and staff. To make an appointment, call 1-800-INSPIRA.