Being about to speak clearly and understand language is an extremely important skill we start working on as soon as we make sounds. While the ideal time for speech therapy starts at a young age, it’s something that can be addressed at any age. The older we get, there more challenging it can become to find help. Our Guest Geek post today goes over help tips about how older kids and teenagers can benefit from speech therapy.
Dealing with speech deficiencies is challenging for people of all ages. Teenagers with speech issues may struggle to fit in with peer groups, fear ridicule, and go through significant embarrassment while dealing with these problems. Often, kids may have an injury or trauma that results in speaking difficulties. Online speech therapy sessions with a trained Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) can help teens improve their speaking skills and overcome issues like stuttering, lisping, skipping syllables, and repeating words and sounds.
Getting Help for Speech Skills Is More Difficult for Teenagers
Speech seems like an easily-developed skill that babies learn as a regular growth milestone. However, communication typically involves the complex coordination of the vocal cords and muscles of the mouth, tongue, lips, and nose. Babies must also learn to regulate their breathing as they speak, form words, and pronounce words correctly.
The ideal time for kids to get therapy for speech issues is at a young age. Signing up for and getting help in time ensures that they keep up with their learning and academic achievements. Being unable to speak and understand language impacts kids’ abilities to make friends and express themselves. Falling behind in class and not being able to make friends affects self-esteem. Plus, experts agree that lack of confidence is often the cause of speech issues, such as stuttering.
The result is a vicious circle that is hard to break. Becoming the target of bullying and isolation are additional problems kids must face. Getting therapy as a teenager is harder since kids must admit that they have a problem that needs to be corrected. Resistance to training sessions and the mental block against “therapy” are huge issues.
Online Sessions with an SLP Might be a Practical Option
Online speech classes with a trained professional might just be the answer. Kids can get the help they need from the privacy of their homes. As they make progress, they’ll practice skills like:
- Articulation or the art of pronouncing vowels correctly in the right context
- Pronouncing clear definitive sounds
- Overcoming stuttering by speaking slowly and collecting their thoughts before forming a sentence
- Improving literacy and language skills by practicing reading and writing
- Developing social skills and making friends
Often kids shy away from interacting with peers because they cannot understand what is being said. Being able to speak and articulate their thoughts or just engage in a normal conversation are abilities they can develop with the assistance of an expert SLP.
Speech-Language Therapy Includes Different Kinds of Training
Speech-language therapy includes mouth exercises that can strengthen the key muscles used in speaking. Breathing and swallowing exercises are also a part of the training sessions. Therapists help their patients with identifying body language and gestures for more effective communication. As their abilities improve, kids feel more confident at family and school events. The quiet, withdrawn, and sullen teenager might gradually turn into a friendly, outgoing child who excels at academics and enjoys school.
Speech and language skills can go a long way in helping teens become well-adjusted adults and achieve their full potential.