What to Expect with Speech Therapy

Understanding Speech Therapy Sessions

If your aging loved one has a stroke that causes language issues or there’s something else going on that causes them to struggle with their speech, you might want to contact a speech pathologist and start therapy sessions to help them with their communication. Just like a child who is learning to speak, it can be very frustrating for someone to be misunderstood—especially if they feel like they are moving backwards with their speech, rather than a child who is moving forward. When you sign your loved one up for speech therapy, it is important that you (and they) understand what will happen in those sessions.

Who Are Speech Pathologists?

Speech language pathologists, or SLPs,  are professionals that have studied human communication, how it develops, and the various disorders that can arise over time. They have master’s degrees and state level certifications. SLPs often work with people who can’t produce certain speech sounds, or at least can’t produce them clearly. They might also have fluency or speech rhythm issues. If your loved one has problems understanding or producing language, speech therapy can help. They can also help with memory issues and problem-solving disorders as your loved one ages.

What Will Sessions Include?

The sessions will vary, depending on what your loved one needs, and each treatment is specifically created for the individual involved. However, there are various strategies that are often included. Many speech therapy sessions will include language activities that use objects, events, books, and other things to stimulate the language within your loved one. The therapist might model pronunciation and use repetitive exercises to retrain the language skills within the elderly person. Articulation therapy also often comes into play as sound production can be a large part of communication failure. The therapist might show your loved one how to move their tongue to produce certain sounds and have them mirror and practice that motion. Once the sessions conclude, the therapist will likely issue some recommendations and things for your loved one to work on until the next session. This ‘homework’ will help to move their language along and increase their development in whatever area they are struggling with. You will want to be sure that information is passed along to you and/or your loved one’s caregiver so you can all work on the same things and achieve the success you are looking for with the therapy sessions.

Model Speech Therapy At Home

Speech therapy sessions are most effective when the lessons learned in the sessions are taken into the home. Set up specific times for your loved one to work on their speech issues within the home so they can get the practice they need to improve at a faster pace. Make sure to back off when they get frustrated and give them plenty of breaks. For more information on speech pathology and therapy sessions you might need for an elderly loved one, contact the representatives at Agility Health and figure out what’s best for your situation.