Since May is “Better Hearing and Speech Month”, we’re focusing on some reasons successful people seek speech therapy.
Many teens and adults who stutter become anxious simply because they stutter. They often feel bad about their speech difficulty and experience anxiety, avoidance, low self-esteem and embarrassment. Some stuttering symptoms are obvious to others and some are not. They include:
- Repeating or prolonging sounds
- Blocks when speaking
- Omitting words
- Substituting words
- Circumlocution (rearranging words in a sentence)
Other classic speech issues that cause individuals to need a speech therapist are the age-old lisp, and turning R’s into W’s. Visiting a speech therapist for these issues not only corrects the problem but builds confidence and self-esteem. It is with this new-found confidence that individuals succeed in business, relationships and life in general.
Loudness and pitch:
Successful actors, politicians, speakers and television hosts often work with speech therapists to improve their presentation skills as well as their voice loudness and pitch. People who seek treatment for loudness may have either excessive loudness or such a soft speaking voice that it’s difficult to hear them. Pitch issues may include too high of a pitch in males, or too low pitch in females.
Other examples of pitch and loudness patterns that a speech language pathologist can assist with are:
- Mono-pitch lacks normal inflectional variation
- Inappropriate pitch refers to the voice that is judged to be outside the normal range of pitch for age and/or sex
- Pitch breaks
- Hoarse voice lacks clarity and the voice is noisy
- Breathy hoarseness
- Mono-loudness lacks normal variations of intensity that occur
- Loudness (soft, loud, uncontrolled)
- Tremor involves variations in pitch and loudness of the voice that are not under voluntary control
- Strained strangled voice
- Excessive throat clearing is an attempt to clear mucus from vocal folds
Everyone speaks with an accent. While many people take great pride in their accents, some people may have difficulty communicating because of their accent. These difficulties include:
- People not understanding you
- You avoiding social interaction with those who may not understand you
- You getting frustrated from having to repeat yourself all the time
- People focusing on your accent more than on what you are trying to say
These types of communication problems may have negative effects on job performance, educational advancement, and everyday life activities. It may also negatively affect someone’s self-esteem if they are having trouble communicating because of an accent.
For all these reasons, many people practice with a speech therapist to change their speech pronunciation. Successful people who receive these types of services include the following:
- Non-native english speakers
- Speakers who want to reduce a regional accent
- Business and medical professionals who want to improve their communication skills because of a foreign or regional accent
- Actors who need to learn a new accent for a role or performance
Talking too fast
Everyone has met a fast talker. Fast talkers cram so many words per minute into their speech that we are wondering what they were talking about. Talking too fast can cause significant problems, both personally and professionally. Fast speech also suggests the person is nervous or anxious – which doesn’t create a great first impression.
Speech therapist Paula Hils, MA, CCC-SLP believes that “Whatever the reasons for talking too fast, slowing down benefits both you and your audience.”
Speech therapist Donna Richmond, M.A., CCC-SLP advises that “It is important for the individual to eliminate any vocal abusive behaviors resulting from changes in pitch and intensity, which can lead to other voice problems.”
The following are some of the things that may be targeted:
- Intonation (the rhythm of speech)
- Rate (how fast or slow the person speaks)
- Speech sound production (articulation)
- Pragmatics (social rules of communication)
If you have concerns about a loved one’s ability to communicate, visit Care First Rehab for help.
Care First Rehab has provided high quality, professional speech and language therapy for children and adults for almost 8 years. We provide speech therapy services at our clinic in Cary, NC or in-home to patients living in Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, and surrounding areas. Our trained therapists have the tools and expertise to build speech treatment plans that will meet your specific needs and address your areas of concern. Designed to produce results, we work to provide measurable results through gradual, positive changes in the areas of speech that you currently struggle with.
Why Go To Speech Therapy? By Lisa Scott, Ph.D., Florida State University
Why Do I Talk So Fast?— Causes and Top 7 Natural Remedies By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist