Often SLT interventions can help a speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulty improve, or at least stop it getting worse. However, people may also get better without an intervention, or it may possibly cause other problems. For example if a child with a mild stammer comes to speech and language therapy to work on their fluency they may become more self-conscious of or anxious about their speech, and then stammer more as a result.
One thing you should always consider is: what would happen if I didn’t provide the treatment? For example, some people who lose their voices after a cold or chest infection will get better without therapy. Therapy might give you some techniques to make your voice come back a little faster, but in this case it isn’t strictly needed to get better.
People who lose their voices in this way sometimes don’t get better. Therapy might prevent this from happening, but other treatments (for example seeing an ENT doctor) may be as important and the chances of permanent voice loss are very unlikely.
BEWARE when someone says that a “therapy is always needed”.
REMEMBER: The treatment might not be needed. In some specific cases, waiting to see what happens may sometimes be a better choice.