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
  • autism
  • 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
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinsons disease
  • Alzheimers disease
  • Tramatic brain injury
  • Respiratory problems
  • Cognitive impairments