What to Expect at Your First Speech Therapy Session

Did you know that speech therapy is about much more than learning how to speak more clearly?

It’s also about improving your memory, communication and even helping your brain function more efficiently. In some cases, it can even assist those who have difficulty swallowing. Speech therapy is one of several rehabilitative therapies we offer.

But are you wondering what you can expect from your first speech therapy session? We’ve got the answers for you, along with the many kinds of speech disorders and how speech language pathologists help our residents every day.

What Is Speech Therapy?

At its core, speech therapy is a treatment designed to help someone overcome a communication disorder. This could mean helping someone learn to speak again after a stroke or enabling them to articulate their words clearly.

Those who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease or oral cancer may have difficulty swallowing. Speech therapists work with these residents by training their throat muscles, which allow them to swallow smoothly again.

Of course, communication involves much more than what is said. It also involves the way your brain receives, processes, and produces information. Speech therapists work with our residents to help them with memory and cognitive issues. As a result, they’re able to better communicate with those that they love.

Speech therapists work with those of all ages.

What Can I Expect From My Speech Therapy Session?

Don’t be nervous.

We understand it may be natural to be anxious when you don’t know what to expect. But our compassionate therapists demonstrate gentle, nurturing therapy that will not only set you at ease, but will also help you meet your treatment goals.

At your first session, our therapist will evaluate your condition and why you were referred. Obviously, the details of what exercises you may do will depend upon your diagnosis.

However, in general, here are a few things you can expect for what happens during a speech therapy clinic.

Speech Therapy Exercises

You will likely do some speech therapy exercises. These will help you overcome a speech or cognitive disorder. Of course, the specifics of what exercise you do will depend on what your therapist feels will help you most.

Here are some examples of speech therapy exercises:

Memory and Organization

It can be very easy to forget names, and organization can be challenging for anyone at various times. Your speech therapist may want to help you by using flash cards with the name of a person on one side and a picture of that person on the other. They may also repeat this flash card game with places or objects.

You may be asked to simply tell a story, then answer questions about the story you just told. Your speech therapist may ask you to remember things you’ve seen on TV or in the news.

Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing can help you form your words and can help improve the resonance of your voice. It also helps train your diaphragm. Your therapist will direct you.

Exercises for Oral Muscles

If you wanted to strengthen your arms, you’d lift weights or do other types of exercises, wouldn’t you? Then if you want to strengthen the muscles used for speaking and swallowing, you’d also do certain types of exercises.

For example, your speech therapist may ask you to do an exercise like this:

Take small pieces of paper and place them on a towel. Take a straw, put it in your mouth and suck on it. Use this suction to pick up the small pieces of paper. Continue practicing until you can “carry” the small pieces of paper into a cup by sucking on the straw.

Practicing Conversation

Sometimes it’s difficult to think of the right word at the right time. Your speech therapist will help you by practicing and having conversations with you.

Regardless of your situation, at EC Rehab and Wellness, you can expect the best in comprehensive care from your speech therapy session. We take time to carefully evaluate you so our tailored treatment plans will provide the best possible results.

What Are Different Types of Speech Disorders?

Some of our residents have difficulty communicating, whether it’s because they are unable to come up with the right word at the right time, it’s difficult for them to form words, or their throat muscles aren’t working as they should.

Speech therapists help treat those with a wide range of conditions. Some of these conditions include:

Articulation and Fluency Problems

This includes stuttering, distorting words, or speaking so fast that words are running together. These issues affect the form, speed and rhythm of speech.

Resonance Issues

If the airflow is blocked or obstructed, it will affect the sound and quality of your voice. Breathing exercises often help residents who have resonance issues with their voices.

Receptive Challenges

If someone has a receptive language disorder, it means that they have difficulty interpreting, processing or understanding conversations.

Expressive Disorders

Those with expressive disorders have difficulties using correct verb tenses and conveying information in a way that is easily understandable. This is sometimes the result of head trauma or other medical condition.

Cognitive Communication Problems

Communication is a complicated process because it requires close and accurate interaction between the parts of your brain that creates ideas (cognitive) to the part of your body that is able to express them (communication). If there is a problem with the cognitive communication process, this means that you may have memory issues, problems speaking or difficulty solving problems.

Aphasia

This disorder dramatically affects someone’s ability to read, write, speak and understand what others are saying. Many who have had a stroke struggle with aphasia.

Dysarthria

When the muscles used for speech are weakened by injury, illness or facial paralysis, the result is dysarthria. Dysarthria is slurred or slow speech, usually caused by

How Long Is Speech Therapy Needed?

It’s difficult to give an exact time because, as you see, there are many different facets involved in speech therapy.

Recovery depends upon your condition and other factors such as your age, the severity of the disorder, and whether or not you have any underlying medical conditions that are contributing to this disorder.

Speech Therapy at East Carolina Rehabilitation and Wellness

All of our residents are on a journey. Some are recovering from a hip or knee replacement, while others may have started a new chapter through our assisted living services.

Our goal is to work with them and take that journey together so that they will know they are not alone. We surround our residents with the same compassionate care that we would give to members of our own family.

See why our residents love living at East Carolina Rehab and Wellness. Contact us for more information today.