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Speech Therapy

We need to be able to communicate to experience the world around us. If you or a loved one has difficulty expressing themselves or understanding others, you know first-hand how important effective communication can be. 

Banner Health’s speech therapy team is dedicated to helping children and adults with language disorders. Our knowledgeable multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive, compassionate care, customized to your specific needs.

What Is Speech Therapy?

Speech therapy helps patients with communication problems and speech disorders. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), often referred to as speech therapists, use multiple types of speech therapy techniques such as articulation therapy, language intervention activities and others. Speech therapy can treat speech disorders or impairments in children or adults. The goal of speech therapy is to improve a patient’s speech and ability to understand and express language, verbally and non-verbally

Who Can Benefit from Speech Therapy? 

People with language issues can benefit socially, emotionally and intellectually from speech therapy. Speech therapy is used with both children and adults. If you have any of the following problems, speech therapy may be able to help:

  • Articulation: Not speaking clearly or making errors in sounds
  • Resonance or voice: Issues with voice pitch, volume and quality
  • Fluency: Trouble with the flow of speech, such as stuttering
  • Oral: Difficulty with eating, swallowing or drooling
  • Comprehension: Difficulty understanding others
  • Social communication: Difficulty interacting with others socially

In general, the sooner speech therapy intervention starts, the better. Especially in young children, speech therapy is especially beneficial to improving language skills. 

How Does Speech Therapy Work? 

Speech therapy can help patients speak more clearly, improving confidence, reducing frustration and increasing comprehension. 

Types of Speech and Language Disorders Treated with Speech Therapy

  • Aphasia: Affects a person’s ability to speak, understand, read and write. It’s often a result of stroke or a brain disorder
  • Articulation: Inability to correctly form certain word sounds, such as dropping, swapping, distorting or adding sounds (e.g., “thith” instead of “this”)
  • Cognitive-communication: Injury to the brain affecting thinking, memory, listening and problem-solving 
  • Dysarthria: Slow or slurred speech due to muscle weakness/loss of muscle control. It’s often due to conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke
  • Expressive: Trouble expressing information or forming sentences. It’s often associated with development impairments, hearing loss, head trauma or medical conditions 
  • Fluency: Trouble with the flow, speed and rhythms of speech such as stuttering
  • Receptive: Trouble understanding and processing what others say. It’s often caused by autism, hearing loss or head injury
  • Resonance: A blockage of airflow to the nasal or oral cavity that affects voice quality. It’s often associated with cleft palate, neurological disorders or swollen tonsils

LSVT Speech Therapy Treatment 

Banner Health offers Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), which is proven to help patients in all stages of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and has application to other neurological conditions. LSVT has two programs: 

  • LSVT LOUD, also called Loud Voice Therapy, teaches people how to recalibrate their voices
  • LSVT BIG retrains people to understand their bodies and how normal movements look and feel 

For decades, these effective, evidence-based treatments have been used to help patients achieve their therapy goals across a range of diseases and impairments. Learn more about LSVT.

What to Expect from Speech Therapy

At Banner Health, our expert speech-language pathologists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating patients with language difficulties. Speech therapy patients benefit from a multidisciplinary team of skilled doctors and health care professionals. This team of professionals, including audiologists, physical therapists, nurses, physicians and others, collaborate to ensure you receive the most effective care possible. 

To build your customized treatment plan, Banner Health’s speech therapy team conducts a thorough assessment to understand your communication disorder and the best ways to treat it. 

The time needed in speech therapy depends on the person – some patients a few months and others a few years. Stick with it and trust your care team. We’re here to support you and help you achieve your goals. We can provide education, resources, strategies, skills and different types of speech therapy techniques to help you improve.

Speech Therapy for Children

Speech therapy for children is highly play-based to create a fun environment in which kids want to engage. It takes place in a small group or one-on-one with activities depending on a child’s disorder, age, and needs. Your speech therapist may interact through talking, playing, using books, pictures and games, to stimulate language development and learn sounds. As a caregiver, you also are taught techniques for doing speech therapy at home to further results. 

Speech Therapy for Adults

Speech therapy exercises for adults may focus on speech, language and/or cognitive communication. Sometimes, patients need speech therapy to retain their swallowing function due to a medical condition. Depending on your needs, your speech therapist may employ a variety of techniques, including:

  • Activities to improve problem-solving, memory and organization 
  • Conversational tactics to improve social communication
  • Breathing exercises for resonance
  • Exercises to strengthen muscles

Find a Physical Therapy Location Near You