Speech therapy is a resource that provides support and treatment for individuals who are struggling to communicate due to a communication disorder or are wanting to improve their overall speech and language skills. Working with an experienced speech and language pathologist can be highly beneficial for both children and adults.
Some of the most commonly identified goals of speech therapy include working towards improved pronunciation, strengthened muscles required for speech, and speaking clearly and correctly.
If you are considering speech therapy for yourself or a loved one, you might be wondering what the success rate of speech therapy is, or whether you are likely to reach your communication goals. How successful speech therapy is, depends on a number of factors. Generally speaking, speech therapy has a high rate of success among children and adults and is the best option for those who are looking to improve their speech and language skills, as well as increase their confidence.
Learn more about online speech therapy and whether it might be the right fit for you by scheduling your free introductory call today!
What Factors Affect the Efficacy of Speech Therapy?
As mentioned above, the success rate of speech therapy depends on a variety of factors. These factors include:
Age of the Individual – Research has shown that the earlier the individual begins speech therapy, the more likely that speech therapy will be effective.
The Severity of the Communication Disorder – If an individual is seeking treatment for a mild articulation disorder or is only struggling to produce a few words or sounds, speech therapy is likely to be successful.
Type of Communication Disorder – Some fluency disorders, such as stuttering, can be more difficult, but not impossible, to eliminate completely.
Frequency and Consistency of Appointments – The success of speech therapy depends significantly on how frequently the appointments occur, and how consistent the individual is with their attendance and participation in each appointment. Speech therapy is not unlike working out with a personal trainer. The assigned speech pathologist provides instruction on proper techniques & exercises; but it is just as much the individual’s responsibility to practice those techniques in a consistent manner.
Ability to Practice Outside of Appointment Time – While the speech therapy appointments themselves are vitally important, spending time to practice specific techniques outside of appointments is also an essential part of speech therapy. Taking what is instructed in the therapy sessions and putting them to work in everyday life is the only path to reaching success with speech therapy.
Underlying Medical Conditions – If the communication challenges are related to a medical condition, the success of speech therapy will depend on the severity of the condition and the individual’s ability to recover.
Support from Caregivers – The success of speech therapy also depends on the ability of family members, teachers, and other caregivers to support the individual. As mentioned above, spending time on speech therapy exercises outside of appointment times is a vital part of a speech therapy program. Often this requires the help and support of others to encourage and facilitate.
Can Speech Disorders Be Cured?
Some speech disorders can be cured, whereas others cannot. Even for those disorders that can’t be completely cured, speech and language therapy with an experienced speech pathologist can help to improve communication skills and/or help the individual adapt to alternative communication methods if necessary.
How Long Does it Take to Cure Speech Delay?
As with any treatment plan, how long speech therapy takes to be successful depends on multiple factors. Some individuals may have reached their communication goals through speech therapy in a matter of weeks or months, whereas others may work with a speech therapist for years or indefinitely.
The Success Rate of Speech Therapy
While there is no specific research to identify a precise rate of success among speech therapy patients, one study showed that approximately 70% of preschool-aged children who underwent speech therapy saw a significant improvement in their communication skills.
Speech therapy offers so many benefits, from improved clarity and fluency of speech to increased confidence and professional and academic success. Don’t wait to get started, schedule your free introductory call today!
Tips to Make Speech Therapy Successful
Frequency: Once the initial evaluation by a speech therapist has been completed, they will make a recommendation for the frequency of ongoing therapy appointments. Often an individual who has more than one appointment per week will progress faster and meet their goals sooner than an individual who attends appointments less frequently.
Carryover: Carryover refers to the idea that skills that are practiced during appointments will be transferred and practiced outside of appointment times. Carryover is a highly important aspect of speech therapy. The success of speech therapy depends significantly on the individual’s ability to receive additional practice time.
Prioritizing Speech Therapy: While social and extracurricular activities are important for both children and adults, it is very important to make time for speech-language therapy. Speech therapy can only be successful if it is made a priority. Taking breaks from speech therapy can result in regressing newly acquired skills and often will prolong the speech therapy progress.
Positive Experience: Speech therapists work hard to ensure that speech therapy is a positive experience for all of the individuals they work with. When speech therapy is enjoyable, participation is more likely, and motivation to work and focus is increased. This applies to working on speech therapy goals at home.
Parent Participation and Education: When a child receives speech therapy, keeping the parents informed and educated is paramount. When parents are included in speech therapy, they are more likely to help their child work on speech therapy exercises outside of appointments. Education and support for parents are important parts of speech therapy and can help significantly to make speech therapy a success.
The Bottom Line
Speech therapy offers a wide range of benefits for children and adults alike. While the precise success rate of speech therapy is highly nuanced and difficult to identify, experts agree that working with a registered speech and language pathologist is the best course of action for individuals who wish to improve their communication skills.
In order to be successful, speech therapy requires commitment, dedication, encouragement, and support. At Great Speech, we offer a large network of speech and language pathologists who are waiting to connect with you and help you work towards improved communication and increased confidence. Get started with us by scheduling your free introductory call today!