How Speech Therapy Works

If you or your loved one has been referred to speech therapy, you may be wondering how it works. Speech therapy encompasses a wide range of techniques and strategies tailored to address an individual’s specific needs. But let’s break it down and understand how speech therapy helps various groups and conditions.

How Speech Therapy Helps Toddlers

For toddlers, speech therapy often involves playful, engaging activities designed to stimulate language development. These might include interactive games, picture books, or toys that promote the child’s engagement and communication. Therapists also provide parents with strategies to support language development at home, turning everyday activities into opportunities for language learning.

How Speech Therapy Helps Preschoolers

With preschoolers, speech therapy is often geared towards preparing them for school. This might include activities to enhance articulation, vocabulary, and social communication skills. Importantly, speech therapy also supports the development of pre-literacy skills like rhyming and sound-letter recognition, laying the groundwork for future reading and writing success.

How Speech Therapy Helps Children

For school-aged children, speech therapy may focus on addressing issues that impact academic performance and social interactions. This could include articulation therapy, language activities to support comprehension and expression, and exercises to enhance fluency and voice. Additionally, for children with reading and writing difficulties, speech therapists might provide specific literacy support.

How Speech Therapy Helps Autism

For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), speech therapy is often a crucial component of their overall treatment plan. Therapists work on developing both verbal and non-verbal communication skills, such as using gestures or eye contact. Social communication skills are also a focus, with activities designed to teach turn-taking, maintaining a topic of conversation, and understanding social cues. Additionally, some individuals with ASD might benefit from Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems, which can range from picture boards to sophisticated electronic devices (ASHA, n.d.).

How Speech Therapy is Done

Speech therapy sessions are tailored to the individual’s specific needs and can take many forms. Some sessions might involve one-on-one therapy, while others could be group sessions to practice social communication skills. Therapy could involve physical exercises (like for articulation disorders), interactive language activities, role-playing, or the use of technology like AAC devices.

How Speech Therapy Helps Stuttering

For individuals who stutter, speech therapy often involves techniques to control speech fluency, reduce tension, and change negative attitudes about speech. Techniques might include ‘easy onset’ (starting phrases with softer, less forceful articulations), ‘slow rate’ (slowing down overall speed of speech), and ‘light contacts’ (using less tension when articulating sounds) (ASHA, n.d.).

At Red Deer Speech Therapy, we’re dedicated to providing personalized, evidence-based therapy for all our clients. If you or your loved one needs support, don’t hesitate to reach out.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Stuttering (Practice Portal).

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (n.d.). Autism (Practice Portal).