Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Do you find it difficult to initiate a conversation?
Does the thought of communicating in a group make you anxious? Do you often get stuck while talking?
If your answer is yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to pay a visit to a speech-language pathologist.
What happens in speech therapy? How does a speech therapist help me?
The techniques given by speech therapists are used to improve communication.
Whatever setting it is, talking on the phone, in a meeting, or talking to someone superior to you at work or a stranger, a speech therapist will help you become a better communicator. Along with giving you the tools and techniques to be a better listener and speaker, they help you with rearranging your thoughts, improving your body language and fluency of speech.
There could be instances when a person have,
Difficulty initiating a conversation, coming up with topics - You may find yourself in a situation where you are not sure what to say or how to start a conversation. You feel anxious, not at peace with the situation whenever it arises.
Difficulty understanding language in noisy backgrounds - When out in public, or with multiple speakers, is it hard to focus on the conversation. You easily get distracted by the noise present.
Frequent requests for repetitions, saying “what” and “huh” - Do you say ‘what’ or ‘huh’, because it was hard to decode as you were not paying attention or just to delay a response. Or, sometimes, the role may be reversed, listeners ask you to repeat yourself, as you have rushed through sentences and missed articulating the speech sounds.
Difficulty starting a word, phrase, or sentence - Have you felt the frustration when you know the word or a phrase, but you are not able to say it? You feel stuck. You either prolong the speech sound or repeat them multiple times.
Over articulation of "um" if difficulty moving to the next word is anticipated - When you do not know or when the mind could not arrange a firm structure of the sentence, fillers ‘um’ are over articulated.
Fist clenching and Jaw tightening - When the attention is at you, involuntarily your body becomes stiff, hands tightly enclosed in a fist, or jaw becomes rigid.
Cover mouth or pretend to cough or yawn to cover up dysfluency - When you are aware of your dysfluency, you tend to cover them with subtle movement like cough or clearing of a throat.
Head nodding, leg tapping, or rapid eye blinking - Hyper movement of the body when you are feeling uncomfortable, or trying to concentrate. These movements are involuntarily and hard to control even when noticed.
Avoiding certain words that seem to make you fumble – Do you anticipate the word on which you might fumble in a sentence? So, you divert and substitute the word or use a synonym. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.