How Does Speech Therapy Help Adults?

Written by on April 30, 2019 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 0 Comments
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Even if it is a common idea that children need the services of a speech therapist more than an adult does, there is also a speech therapy for adults that can help an adult speech problems arising from a variety of health issues. So how important is adult speech therapy? Let’s find out in the following.

Most Common Speech Disorders in Adults

Certain reasons lead to adult speech disorders, including traumatic brain injuries, stroke or non-corrected speech impediments they started having as a child. The good news is, your speech doesn't need to suffer during Covid-19  just because of lockdown laws. Online speech therapy is just as effective as speech therapy, and it's a fraction of the cost too.

Stuttering

This speech disorder often begins in childhood. If not corrected, it can persist and last throughout someone’s lifetime. For this reason, it is important to address this issue in childhood.

There is no specific cause pinpointed by researchers, but they do believe a genetic component may play a role. For example, a child who stutters inherited it from a family member or a parent more likely than not.

Its treatment involves working with a speech therapist that can work with you or your child to treat the speech, swallowing and language disorders.

If you stutter, you monitor your breathing and control your speech rate along   with practicing speech techniques to improve.

Apraxia

Adults can also suffer from apraxia, a condition characterized when your lips and tongue aren’t moving in the correct manner to produce the required sounds.

In some cases, some adults suffering from it cannot speak at all.  This condition also involves uttering made up words like chicken instead of kitchen.

This condition in adults is caused by brain trauma, tumors or a disease like dementia. Some also contract it following a stroke. It is treated by training specific muscles in order that they respond properly.

Stroke

People who suffered from stroke may find it hard to express thoughts or understand speech.

As mentioned earlier, one can suffer from aphasia, which is a symptom of brain damage, not a disease.  A speech pathologist can help stroke survivors  address speech disorders following it through a therapy, which is customized based on the needs and situation of a patient.

Traumatic brain injury

Also called TBI, a traumatic brain injury is a type of brain injury that resulted from a sudden brain damage.  In some cases, a TBI follows when an object, like a gunshot, entered the skull and the brain.  It may also happen after a head blow, such as when you fall with your head first on the floor.

TBI can lead to a host of issues in swallowing, thinking, language and speech.   A few causes of this brain injury can include,

  • Car accidents
  • Being hit in the head by an object
  • Violent assaults
  • Running into an object
  • Falls

Military combat or sports-related injuries can also cause TBI. Adults who have had it before is also more likely to suffer from it again.  And then, a mild brain injury in the past can become more serious if you suffered from it again.

For this reason, you might want to take extra care not to have another brain injury if you had recovered from it.

Drooling

The inability to control mouth muscles, including the lip and tongue, can result to drooling and swallowing issues. This problem is associated with a speech delay, too.

Weakened facial muscles

When you cannot control the muscles used in speaking or if they’re weak, you might be suffering from dysarthria, a condition affecting the speech muscles.   it is noted for slow or slurred inaudible speech.

For adults, a few causes include brain injury, brain tumor, stroke and other diseases that may lead to throat or tongue muscle weakness or facial paralysis, among other nervous system disorders.

It’s underlying cause is treated to improve speech when possible. On the other hand,   you may also get speech therapy to improve speech.

It may also help to change or discontinue medication if the condition is due to prescription medications..

Trouble remembering words

Anomic aphasia is another speech disorder characterized by an adult suffers from word retrieval failures and the inability to express words like verbs and nouns.   It is a deficit expressive language.

A person suffering from anomia describes an object in detail or use of hand gestures in order to show how this object is used; however, he cannot think the correct words to name it.

Sudden contraction of vocal muscles (Spasmodic Dysphonia)

Spasmodic Dysphonia is another common speech disorder in adults that happens when the muscles used in generating voice go into a period of spasm, it can result to voice interruptions and breaks every few sentences.

There you have some of the most common adult speech impairments that a speech therapist can help with.

How to prevent adult speech impairments

Speech impairments in adults can be prevented. For example, voice disorders can be prevented by not screaming, shouting or talking in a noisy place.

You can also prevent it by drinking plenty of water, which can keep the throat and mouth moist.   Nevertheless, you should keep yourself hydrated to prevent voice disorders.

In addition, you must avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking – all are risk factors of stroke, which can lead to speech disorders.

You might also want to see your doctor from time to time to check if you have respiratory infections, sinus or allergies, among other conditions that might affect and lead to speech disorders.

For language disorders characterized by problems what other people are saying or issues saying sentences or words, having trouble thinking of words or reading, or having a small vocabulary, you should use seat belts and helmets to prevent a brain injury and keep your blood pressure down.

Get the help of a speech-language pathologist that can help in addressing and language and speech disorders that can affect someone’s personal life, career and relationships.

One can also test you if you are worried you may be having one of the speech disorders mentioned earlier.

Final thoughts

Definitely, not only children but also adults may require the services of a speech pathologist that can help in addressing speech and language disorders, including apraxia and stuttering that may result from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors and other causes, through a speech therapy for adults.

About the Author

Lilly Myers is a freelance content writer and social worker at Beverly Hills Speech Therapy. She has just recently received Master's in Medical Sciences. Besides her occupancy she tries to find a spare time for volunteering and helping the people with disorders.

 

 

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