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  • Writer's pictureEngage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

What is speech therapy?

Updated: Jun 18, 2023

Women talking and laughing

Many people are familiar with speech therapy for children. Some children may receive speech therapy because they have difficulty producing some sounds correctly (for example, saying “wabbit” for “rabbit”), or if they stutter. But did you know that Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) also work with adults? So, how exactly can a speech therapist help adults?

SLPs evaluate, treat, educate and support people who have difficulty with communication — including speech, language, fluency, cognitive-communication, and voice disorders. SLPs also specialize in treating feeding and swallowing problems in people of all ages.

Let’s talk about each of these areas more:

Speech - difficulty with how we say speech sounds or putting sounds together correctly or fluently. This may present as mumbling, slurred speech, rapid speech, etc.

Language - difficulty with understanding others (receptive) or expressing thoughts, feelings and ideas. A language disorder can also include difficulty with reading, spelling or writing. This may present as difficulty with putting words together, word searching/finding, difficulty understanding directions, etc.

Fluency - difficulty with the flow of speech, also known as dysfluency or stuttering

Cognitive-communication - difficulty with how our minds work, including memory, attention, problem solving, organization, flexible thinking, safety awareness, reasoning, planning, multi-tasking and other thinking skills.

Voice - changes in how your voice sounds. This may present as hoarse, gravelly, raspy, easy loss of voice, reduced loudness, pitch changes, lump sensation in your throat or more effort to speak.

Feeding/swallowing - difficulty with eating, drinking or swallowing. This may present as difficulty chewing, moving food within your mouth, drooling, coughing/choking, lump sensation in your throat, etc.

SLPs at Engage Therapy and Wellness in Syracuse NY specialize in treating communication, speech, and swallowing problems in people with neurological disorders. To learn more about how we can help, call 315-810-2423 or email

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