How Long Does it Take for Speech Therapy to Work?

How Long Does it Take for Speech Therapy to Work?

This content was updated for accuracy and relevance on July 7, 2024.

Often when we think of a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), the image of a school-age child comes to mind. We visualize a child with a lisp, stutter, or another difficulty with pronunciations of words. An SLP can help with a variety of issues following illness or injury – some not seen as speech-related at all!

While considering the frequency and speech or language therapy duration, parents and families can play a huge role in helping children achieve their goals faster. A speech therapist for kids will provide targets and goals, such as practice with articulation therapy or motor speech therapy services. A pediatric therapist will typically review the goals addressed, provide insight and training for the family, and help to improve the rate of progressing on goals during pediatric speech therapy.

Because there is such a wide range of symptoms and treatments, it’s hard to definitively answer how long does speech therapy take” and what the appropriate speech therapy frequency and duration will be. A trained speech-language pathologist will analyze your issue to learn the complexity of it and then set a goal that is achievable within a reasonable amount of time (typically 6 months or less). Speech therapists will create a custom treatment plan depending on your or your child’s needs. This may include treatment for the following:


An SLP can evaluate and treat patients who have difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). Patients who have suffered a stroke or are struggling with a degenerative disease like Parkinson’s or ALS, sometimes have difficulty with swallowing due to the progression of the disease. Children who may be considered “picky eaters” because of a variety of sensory processing issues can struggle with difficulty swallowing as well. An SLP can help with these difficulties!

Treatment typically begins with an assessment to determine the severity and specific nature of the swallowing disorder. Therapy may include exercises to strengthen the muscles of the mouth and throat, techniques to improve swallowing coordination, and dietary adjustments such as altering food textures and liquid consistencies to ensure safety and nutrition.

Weakened or Raspy Voice

An SLP can help with rehabilitation for a weak voice. Our Speech-Language pathologists have specialized training in improving voice amplitude, power, and fluency. Overuse, injury, or disease can cause stuttering or a weak or raspy voice. SLPs can help with exercises that strengthen vocal muscles and improve the clarity of your voice no matter the cause of your impairment.

Therapy for voice disorders focuses on improving vocal function and reducing strain. Techniques include vocal warm-ups, breathing exercises, and voice modulation training to achieve optimal pitch and volume. The SLP may also incorporate lifestyle changes, such as hydration and vocal rest, to complement the physical aspects of the speech-language therapy.


Aphasia is the ability of the brain to translate thought into expressive language. Often after a stroke or brain injury, an individual may have difficulty with “word finding.” A patient will say, “It’s on the tip of my tongue but I can’t recall the word!” It is one of the most frustrating conditions for a patient. For the 180,000 people who struggle with aphasia every year, those who engage in regular speech therapy sessions with an SLP show significant signs of recovery.

Treatment for aphasia aims to improve communication abilities and restore language skills as much as possible. Approaches can vary widely but often include naming therapy to help with word-finding difficulties, sentence-restructuring exercises, and the use of alternative communication methods such as pictures or technology when necessary. Consistent practice and reinforcement at home are critical to enhancing the effectiveness of the therapy.

Post-concussion Treatment

For athletes (pro, amateur, child, or adult) wanting to get back in the game after a concussion, an SLP can help you return to your sport! Studies show that concussions can cause memory issues, focus and attention difficulties, and struggles with critical thinking skills. Speech-Language Pathologists are experts at treating the side effects of a concussion, can help you fully recover, and return to your sport as well as resume daily functioning.

Following a concussion, SLPs work to address cognitive-communication impairments. The speech therapy session may involve exercises to improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. Techniques such as cognitive restructuring and the use of memory aids (notebooks, apps) help patients manage daily tasks more independently. Additionally, SLPs often work collaboratively with other rehabilitation professionals to provide comprehensive care.

Navigating Your Speech Therapy Journey

Once your speech pathologist assesses your speech and language skills, they will be able to develop a treatment plan specific to your needs. This includes not only restoring your speech and language abilities, but also improving communication skills. The speech therapy frequency and duration will depend upon your speech pathologist’s evaluation and will vary from patient to patient.

Find out how to find a pediatric speech therapist near you and receive a speech-language pathology plan today! You will discover the positive outcomes it will have on yours or your child’s speech and language development.

The medical information contained herein is provided as an information resource only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultation with healthcare professionals. This information is not intended to be patient education, does not create any patient-provider relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition. If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. IvyRehab Network, Inc. disclaims any and all responsibility, and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained herein.

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