When is therapy needed?
Children might need speech-language therapy for a variety of reasons, including:
- hearing impairments
- cognitive (intellectual; thinking) or other developmental delays
- weak oral muscles
- birth defects such as cleft lip or cleft palate
- motor planning problems
- respiratory problems (breathing disorders)
- swallowing disorders
- traumatic brain injury
Therapy should begin as soon as possible. Children enrolled in therapy early in their development (younger than 3 years) tend to have better outcomes than those who begin therapy later.
This does not mean that older kids can't make progress in therapy; they may progress at a slower rate because they often have learned patterns that need to be changed.
Adults may need a speech therapist for many reasons as well, including:
- Motor planning problems
- Voice disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinsons disease
- Alzheimers disease
- Tramatic brain injury
- Respiratory problems
- Cognitive impairments