Speech-language therapy for teens: Why do I need this anyway?

Why do I need this anyway? Because Speech-language therapy for teens can improve the ability to express ideas verbally and in writing and improve reading comprehension, so why wouldn’t you want to do it?

Speech-language therapy for teens and young adults is a great opportunity but can challenge at a time when most are eager to prove their independence.  I love the challenge of working with teens, who are coming into themselves. They can be funny, insightful and honest in a way that many adults are not.  It’s a time when independence has to be nurtured. It’s no longer acceptable to just say, “This is what you will do?” Now’s the time to say, ” What do you want to do?” It is a time when providing the rationale for what you are doing and the expected results are essential. Adolescents are dying to make decisions, so therapy that empowers them is usually the most successful.

Speech-language therapy for teens should begin with “What are your goals?  What are your strengths? Often at some point when providing speech-language therapy for teens, it is important to discuss and process the struggle that the communication has caused. It is no longer the best practice to treat without acknowledging the pain the disorder has caused.  Sometimes  If a high schooler says they don’t care and are unwilling to accept help, its because they have been shamed into believing that help implies they are not smart or capable and so often nothing is further from the truth.

Speech-language therapy for teens is something that can not be forced. If a teen cannot be convinced that speech-language therapy is beneficial then the best thing is to wait until they are more receptive.  Uncooperative teens often will show improvement. Sometimes, however, an initial visit can help or tying the therapy results to other larger goals can also motivate teens to seek treatment.  Teens between the ages of 13-19 are in the early stages of discovering who they are going to be, and it’s important to remember that” no” today doesn’t always mean “no” tomorrow. When providing speech-language therapy for teens it is important to form a partnership that allows for the exploration of past successes and failures, be open to their opinions and style, and to honor the vision held by the teens and their parents.

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1 Comment

  1. March 27, 2011    

    Great blog! I am only an undergrad CSD student, but I can imagine how challenging and rewarding working with the 13-24 cohort could be.-Stephanie D., UCF

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