As speech therapists, we set out to improve how our patients communicate. Whether working post-accident or alongside developmental challenges, we are masters of the art and science that takes bodily cognition, combine it with stronger muscles, and generates a robust voice for our patients. But our interventions not only help someone speak, in fact here are some life-changing impacts of speech therapy.
Short-Term Effects of Speech Therapy
- Improved Literacy -Whether creating a plan for a patient with aphasia, apraxia, or anything in between, it’s important to understand the link between reading and writing. Speech therapy considers the cognitive and mechanical strengths someone needs to be able to gather ideas, interpret them, and then share their own out with the world -both orally and on the page. This is especially important in pre-school and school-age children who are in the midst of their most formative years. Speech therapists can also recommend adaptive devices to help further bridge gaps.
- Greater Self-Esteem -When we’re struggling against our own bodies, our self-esteem and self-efficacy plummet. Our patients are likely to experience hopelessness and other feelings of self-doubt. However, improvements thanks to speech intervention, even small ones, can help reignite hope for patients, inspiring them to keep pushing forward and proving they are capable of more than they realize.
- Stronger Communication -Humans are reliant on one another for more than may seem immediately obvious. Whether ordering coffee at a drive-through, trying to understand the care your doctor is prescribing, attending class at a university, or telling someone dear how much they mean to you, clear and strong communication is absolutely essential for a successful life. And, with speech therapy, it’s more attainable than it would otherwise be to so many who are struggling.
- Social Belonging -As much as we wish it weren’t so, society is not kind to those who are different. Articulation disorders leave someone prone to bullying from their classmates, a lower perceived intelligence as adults, and even blatant disregard into old age. By improving articulation and bringing clarity to someone’s speech, we are able to protect them from these unjust stigmas and help them feel like they belong.
Long-Term Effect of Speech Therapy
- More Independence -As mentioned earlier, we rely on each other for so much, however, when we have a clear, strong voice, we can also maintain more independence, relying less on caretakers and being better able to express our wants and needs. This can help us live fuller, healthier lives, while simultaneously reducing caretaker burnout.
- Improved Physical Health -Those living with speech disorders or who may be recovering from debilitating medical instances such as a stroke may have trouble mastering their motor skills. This includes swallowing and breathing, and we don’t need to tell you how critical these are for everyday life. With speech therapy interventions, patients can become less likely to choke and can quite literally breathe easier. Furthermore, the more capable an individual is of speaking, the more they can advocate for themselves and speak up when it comes to their medical care.
- Decreased Anxiety -When living with a speech disorder or impairment of any kind, the world suddenly presents far more obstacles and opportunities for things to go wrong. Over time, a state of anxiety can shroud one’s perception of the world. Besides the emotional effects, prolonged anxiety can also contribute to other health factors. But with a vocal quality that can make it over life’s hurdles, we are able to circumvent many of these issues.
- Stronger Understanding -The benefits of speech therapy go way beyond the in-the-moment comprehension of words, sounds, and ideas. But interventions can, in the long-term, help patients understand larger-scale concepts and ideas that may have been unattainable to them before.
Solutions that Help You Make a Difference
The work speech and language pathologists are doing may not seem all that eventful and often goes unsung, however, it is speech therapists who are making significant improvements in their patients’ lives every day. Fusion, which is now equipped for adult treatments, is here to help you continue to do the work you do. Designed by SLPs for SLPs, this intuitive EHR is full of features to streamline your workflows and note-taking, so you can get back to care-taking. Schedule a demo today.