6 Benefits of Speech Therapy
(that you may not have realized)
Speech therapy is often thought of as the avenue to help teach children how to say their speech sounds correctly. However, speech therapy goes way beyond just teaching speech!! And, way beyond just teaching children!
Speech therapy can help with so many more skills pertaining to communication, both oral and written. This specialized therapy can assist with relationship building, brain development, and can improve overall quality of life. Furthermore, speech therapy isn’t just meant for kids…it can benefit anyone of any age who is experiencing difficulties with their skills of communication or interaction with others. Here are some of the lesser-known areas that speech therapy can help to address for your child.
- Social Skills
Speech therapy can support children with their social skill development. First, it can help teach skills such as matching emotions to faces or how to carry on a conversation; it also addresses more abstract skills like identifying and understanding others’ nonverbal body language as well as learning the expected ways to communicate in a variety of settings or with different communication partners (i.e. think talking to one’s peers vs. talking to a teacher). This support can help a child or even adult build stronger connections with other people and more fulfilling, lasting relationships. Why? Individuals who have a hard time with social skills (whether it be the effect of their social behaviors on others or difficulty reading people and their behaviors) often struggle to build these social connections and relationships that typical children are able to build effortlessly. This can lead to loneliness and even depression. With speech therapy focused on social skills, children can learn this area of pragmatic communication that doesn’t always develop easily for everyone, make and keep friendships, and really blossom into happier, more connected kids!
- Improved Communication
Speech therapy can help a child, beginning at the most basic level, to simply communicate their needs and wants. This communication may be nonverbal such as through gestures or facial expressions, sign language, or using a picture exchange system; or children can be taught to use simple sounds or approximations to request what they want or need if they aren’t yet able to say full words or sentences. Communication can also take the form of a voice output device, where a child learns how to use technology to be their “spoken voice.” The ability to communicate in any form is powerful and begins at a very young age. Speech therapy continues to help improve communication abilities over time. At a higher level of communication abilities, individuals who have difficulty having conversations can be taught how to interpret and respond to questions and statements and how to keep this conversation going. We depend on communication as we navigate the world and interact with others. By giving a child along any stage of development the ability to communicate, speech therapy can open up so many opportunities and help the child become more independent as he or she grows!
- Improve Cognitive Development
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