Along with advances in science and technology in the health sector, the need for speech therapy services in Indonesia is increasing. It turns out that the existence of speech therapy is very necessary to increase public awareness of the importance of being aware of language disorders, speech production, literacy, voice, resonance, cognitive, smooth rhythm, auditory rehabilitation, and eating or swallowing disorders. The purpose of this article is to discuss what speech therapy is and how speech therapy plays a role in dealing with speech and swallowing problems.
WHAT IS SPEECH THERAPY?
Speech therapy is a therapy that is applied to overcome various kinds of problems related to communication, such as delays in speaking in children (speech delay) to language disorders such as aphasia (Puspita, 2021). In addition, speech therapy can also be done to help overcome various eating and swallowing disorders. Speech therapy is a treatment that improves the client's ability to speak and use other language skills. This therapy can also help clients express thoughts and understand what other people are saying to clients. In addition, speech therapy can also improve skills such as memory and ability to solve problems.
WHEN DO YOU NEED SPEECH THERAPY?
If the health care provider suspects that the client has a speech disorder, the health care provider will recommend some initial screening or tests. This process will help determine the underlying cause of the communication problem.
CONDITIONS REQUIRING SPEECH THERAPY
Speech therapy can benefit anyone with a communication disorder. Health care providers may recommend speech therapy to help clients with the following conditions (Cleveland Clinic, 2023):
Aphasia: clients with aphasia can have difficulty reading, writing, speaking, and understanding language. These difficulties can be caused by a stroke or injury to the area of the brain that processes language.
Apraxia: Clients with apraxia know what they want to say, but have difficulty putting the words together.
Articulation disorders: clients with articulation disorders cannot produce certain word sounds.
Cognitive-communication disorder: Individuals with cognitive-communication disorder may have problems with listening, speaking, remembering, and solving problems.
Dysarthria: individuals with dysarthria may have slow or slurred speech. It occurs when the muscles that control your speech become weak. Common causes include stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or other nervous system disorders.
Expressive disorders: Clients with expressive disorders may have difficulty getting the words out or conveying their thoughts. Expressive disorders related to stroke or other neurological events, developmental delays, and hearing loss.
Fluency disorders: these disturbances affect the speed, flow, and rhythm of speech. Stuttering (speech that is interrupted or obstructed) is a fluency disorder. Likewise cluttering (unified and fast speech).
Receptive disorder: Receptive disorder causes the client to have difficulty understanding or processing what other people are saying. People with this disorder have a limited vocabulary, have trouble following directions, or seem disinterested in conversations.
Resonance disorders: these disorders affect the oral cavity or nose. Cleft palates, swollen tonsils, and other conditions affecting the structures of the mouth and nose can cause resonance disturbances.
THE ROLES OF SPEECH THERAPIST
The speech therapy process includes the initial stage process, ongoing treatment, and discharge planning. In general, speech therapists will assist clients in improving their speaking and communicating skills in language. The type of speech therapy needed depends on several factors, including age and any health conditions or speech challenges you may have.
Examples of the role of a speech therapist in children (Healthline, 2019):
Interacting through talking and playing, and using books, pictures of other objects as part of language interventions to help stimulate language development
Demonstrate the correct sounds and syllables for a child during age-appropriate games to teach a child how to make certain sounds
Provide strategies and homework for children and parents or caregivers on how to do speech therapy at home
Examples of the role of a speech therapist in adults with speech or swallowing disorders are (Healthline, 2019):
Train problem solving, memory, and organization, and other activities directed at improving communication
Carry out conversations to improve social communication
Breathing exercises for resonance exercises to strengthen the mouth muscles
Speech therapy is a therapy that is applied to address various kinds of problems related to communication, language disorders, eating disorders, and swallowing disorders, both in children and adults. The role of the speech therapist and the type of speech therapy provided to the client depend on factors such as the client's age and the severity of the condition. An example of the role of a speech therapist in children is for example inviting children to interact using objects, while an example of the role of a speech therapist in adults is for example practicing problem solving, memory, and other activities that can improve communication.
Cleveland Clinic. (2023). Speech Therapy. Retrieved from
Healthline. (2019). What is Speech Therapy?. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/speech-therapy
Puspita, N. (2021). Terapi Wicara, Lebih dari Sekedar Solusi Keterlambatan Bicara. Retrieved from