Choosing a Speech Therapist

A wide range of speech issues could require assistance from a certified speech therapist. If you seek speech therapy for your child, you may have a referral from your doctor or pediatrician following a clinical appraisal. You may have noticed that your child struggles to communicate or has fallen behind other children their age, has irregular speech patterns, or other speech issues. 

You could be seeking support for an adult struggling with speech impairment after an accident or injury. No matter your reason for seeking a speech therapist, finding the right speech-language pathologist (SLP) is of the utmost importance. 

What is speech therapy?

Speech therapy is a treatment that can help improve communication and is performed by speech-language pathologists (SLP), more commonly referred to as speech therapists, who assess and treat communication problems and speech disorders. Speech therapists use articulation therapy, language intervention activities and other techniques to work with specific types of language and speech disorders. 

Many people think that speech therapy is only for speech disorders that affect pronunciation or other forms of verbal communication. However, speech therapy can also help address reading challenges and other language disorders, including dyslexia. At The Barranco Clinic, we can help you determine the best speech therapy to treat your individual condition.

How can speech therapy help?

Using a variety of techniques, speech therapy can help improve communication and language skills for people struggling with a variety of issues, including:

  • Articulation disorders: this is when you cannot properly pronounce certain words or sounds.
  • Fluency disorders: stuttering and cluttering are common fluency disorders, which cover the wide range of ways in which someone can have issues with speaking speed, speech patterns, and breath.
  • Resonance disorder: issues with the quality of speech.
  • Receptive disorders: problems with speech processing and language retention. 
  • Cognitive-communication disorders: issues with memory retention, problem solving, and speaking/listening.
  • Expressive disorders: difficulty conveying or expressing information. 
  • Aphasia: inability to speak and understand others (including problems with reading and writing)
  • Dysarthria: slowed or slurred speech patterns due to a weakness or lack of control of the muscles used in speech.

Regardless of whether the problems with language and communication stem from a childhood development or the result of an injury, finding the right speech therapist is of the utmost importance. 

How to find the right speech therapist for you

There are many talented speech therapists, all with slightly different techniques and areas of expertise. When choosing the right SLP, it is important that you find a speech therapist that you feel confident with, and with whom you can build a strong, trusting relationship. Key to this is knowing that your SLP has the clinical expertise you need for a better, faster outcome.

An analogy that might be helpful when you are choosing your speech therapist is to imagine you are looking for someone to teach you how to play the piano. Any music teacher could teach you the fundamentals of the instrument to some degree. Finding a teacher with the right experience and skill set will make all the difference in mastering the correct techniques – and the same holds true with a speech therapist. 


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