Speech Impediments and Unintelligible Speech

Speech Impediments

When a preschooler can’t say the ‘R’ sound, it’s adorable. But if an older child, teen, or adult can’t say it, it can be mortifying.

When you have a lisp, your brain might be in overdrive trying to think of words that convey the right meaning but that don’t have the ‘S’ sound.

Frustration, embarrassment, anxiety, teasing, bullying. None of it is fair or easy.

In a perfect world, what we say should matter more than how we say it. Sadly, that’s often not the case.

Unintelligible Speech

Not being able to make your wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings known is torture.

Your child feels it, too.

Speech is one of the primary tools we use to meet our physical, emotional, and social needs.

When a child can’t be understood, behavior becomes the communication tool of choice.

The aggression, anger, and frustration build every week. Eventually these behaviors may transform into anxiety and a withdrawn temperament.

But you’ve tried speech therapy before! Why didn’t it work?

Your child goes to speech therapy at school once or twice a week, but there’s little change.

You’ve participated in speech therapy yourself (maybe even on multiple occasions) but nothing helped.

Sadly, this is a common experience for many people.

In fact, hearing about these experiences from my clients is part of what led me to pursue hundreds of hours of continuing education and to eventually open my own private practice!

For kids, part of the problem is group therapy.

I worked in public schools for five years in three different states. I was required to see my speech students in groups of 3-6, once or twice per week, for 15-20 minutes, regardless of their individual needs.

Each child had completely different goals (social skills, grammar, vocabulary, how to say the ‘R’ sound, or how to say the ‘S’ sound), and I was expected to target them all at the same time.

We’d never expect a teacher to teach math, science, reading, and social studies all at the same time; but this is basically what speech-language pathologists are often required to do in public schools.

Guess what? It’s not very effective.

One-on-one therapy provides the most efficient, effective, and enjoyable outcomes.

This is where I have seen the magic happen time and time again.

Participating in individual, one-on-one, specialized treatment is how everyone can make the most progress, no matter their age.

Individual treatment sessions allow me to be laser-focused on your or your child’s specific strengths and weaknesses.

For adults, the problem is usually an inexperienced or ill-informed therapist.

I recently taught a 67-year-old to overcome her lateral lisp. She had been to speech therapy twice before.

Unfortunately, her previous therapists hadn’t pursued extra training in oral motor development, oral-motor based speech sound remediation methods, orofacial myofunctional therapy, or feeding therapy.

Getting extra training in these areas has given me a holistic view that has allowed me to identify the core skills that might be lacking in speech disorders.

Will it work for everyone?

Honestly, we won’t know until we try.

In rare cases, there may be neurological, structural, cognitive, or behavioral challenges that may impede progress with speech production.

But it’s always worth a try. If something isn’t working, we’ll adjust course or help you find someone who can help you move forward.

Everyone needs to be heard.

I can help. We’ll get to the bottom of things and fix it together.

For more information on what we can do differently to improve speech impediments and unintelligible speech, please call me at (818) 217-0460.