Speech Therapists all around the world can provide a number of very valuable services to those who struggle with any aspect of speech including, tone, intonation, retention, phonation, components of respiration, resonance, variance of pitch, and producing sound. While there are many aspects to speech therapy, these things are generally broken down into five categories of the most common things that speech therapists can help their clients address.
- Cognitive aspects of communication- this generally includes issues regarding the patients memory and attention as well as their problem solving abilities and executive function
- General speech- this is one of the larger categories and includes things such as the phonation, fluency, resonance, articulation, and aspects of respirations and its impact on the voice
- General language- this covers the more scientific aspects including issues of morphology, semantics, phonology, syntax and pragmatical and social aspects of communication, which include oral, written, graphic and manual language. General language skills can also often include issues regarding language processing such as pre-literacy, phonological awareness and other language based literacy skills
- Voice- this aspect focuses on issues regarding poor vocal volume, hoarseness, or other abnormal voice quality such as the voice being too breathy, rough or strained. While many of the clients who come into speech therapy for voice issues are children who have trouble with these issues, this category includes the highest number of people who have lost or are struggling with these abilities because of a disease such as Parkinsons.
- Swallowing and other upper aerodigestive issues- this issue comes most often with infants because of feeding or aeromechanical events. This can also touch in sensory awareness issues regarding the clients ability to properly swallow or any other aerodigestive functions.
Of course different speech therapists will have different specialties and experience in the realm of voice issues and speech problems. The best way to find a speech therapist in your area that is capable of fixing any specific issue that you are trying to deal with is by either talking to your current doctor to see if they know any information about the speech therapists in the area or by looking online. There are a number of different data bases put together by professional organizations of speech therapists or ever government health lists. From this you should be able to get a substantial amount of information that can lead you in the right direction to find a local speech therapist that will know what the best steps to take are for any particular problem or condition. Once you find a few highly recommended speech therapists in your area, you can start making appointments and talking to them to find out what they think the best options are to fix the problems that you are currently dealing with. By talking to each of the speech therapists, you should be able to have a clearer idea on which speech therapist will be best able to match your needs and get you on the road to more confident and clear speaking.