European Speech Therapy Day: what is speech therapy?

The European Speech Therapy Day – celebrated on March 6 of each year – it is a reminder and incentive of the preponderance of communication. But what is speech therapy? In essence, it is known as the discipline responsible for the evaluation, diagnosis, prevention, investigation and treatment of communication difficulties in humans.

Also known as "language therapy" has no restrictions regarding the age of the person, since the understanding and expression of language can be approached in different stages. In this way, the celebration of the day seeks to bring information about the communication disorders that exist and how they can be addressed.

What problems can speech therapy focus on?

The areas covered by speech therapy are extensive, since problems of language, speech, voice, hearing, communication and swallowing are within its communicative jurisdiction.

Language problems

This branch covers both comprehensive and expressive language problems, as well as mixed. There are usually complications and delays in externalizing ideas, as well as in assimilating them. Some difficulties of this type are dysphasia, dyslexia (legasthenia) and aphasia.

Speech problems

It is about the inconveniences that start from the articulation and the emission of sounds that are understood by the receiver. Dysphemia (stuttering) and dysarthria apply to these complications. The latter is a deficiency in the articulation of sounds due to the paralysis of the nerve centers that control the organs of phonation.

Voice problems

The voice starts from the vibration of the vocal cords, but incorrect use can lead to great difficulties. The consequences of bad vocal habits can be the partial or total loss of normal ringing voice, Reinke's edema, polyps and nodules.

Hearing problem

It is related to people who are hearing impaired or children who have had a cochlear implant. The acoustic rehabilitation needs focus on the rhythm and intensity that the voice must have to communicate effectively.

Communication problems

Communication requires strategies and methods to be both fluid and clear in the ideas that are formulated. There is also the expression of feelings as part of this branch. In short, the well-known alternative-communication systems are taken into account.

Swallowing problems

The swallowing conflicts can be in the esophagus, pharynx, mouth and various nerves. Nevertheless, the speech therapist focuses on the evaluation of the pharynx and oral swallowing, as well as the mobility and sensitivity of the area.

Through speech therapy, problems related to speech, communication, swallowing, among others, are addressed.

Objectives of the celebration of the European Speech Therapy Day

The objectives of the European Day of Speech Therapy are the visualization of the discipline and the creation of awareness about the importance of communication at any age. Since 2004, the Standing Committee for the Liaison of Speech and Language Therapists (CPLOL) defined March 6 for the expansive wave of communication to reach all corners.

Another nerve center of the commemoration is finding a way to help people with communication disabilities so that they can reach the well-being that socialization confers. The motto of this season exposes Communication is everything; speech and language therapy is the key.

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Themes of the European Speech Therapy Day

The aim is that each year the European Speech Therapy Day will focus on different help topics to promote solutions to communication problems.


The 2014 theme was multilingualism and touched on the appropriate strategies for women to communication options in a multicultural environment are expanded and not limited. Emphasis was placed on the importance of support from parents or close relatives to favor an appropriate language.

Acquired neurological disorders of communication

For 2015, it was sought to give value and sensitize the cases of acquired neurological disorders of communication. This included people with difficulties in the central nervous system, who had their communication channels reduced due to the loss of functions that did not have conflicts in the past.


In 2016, attention was drawn to verbal dyspraxia. It is a disorder that impairs phonetic and phonological planning. However, through speech therapy, the affected person's condition can be significantly improved and their chances in society increased.


The concern in 2017 was towards difficulty swallowing any food after chewing. It is related to the aforementioned swallowing problems.

Augmentative and alternative communication

One of the most interesting strategies of speech therapists took place in 2018, since augmentative and alternative communication was exalted. It is nothing more than any contribution or complement to speech that facilitates the understanding of the interlocutor. It includes writing, gestures with the help of the limbs, very marked facial expressions, among others.

Autism spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are part of a neurological disorder that prevents normal communication and social interaction. This topic addressed in 2019 is very delicate for speech therapists, since there are difficulties in knowing what goes through the patient's head for sure. Likewise, augmentative and alternative communication is one of the most used methods.

Reading and writing disabilities

Come 2020, reading and writing disabilities took shape. The selection of the topic was related to the fact that many parents take learning disabilities lightly and do not value that the cause may be in communication problems. In this way, children and adults are labeled when there are certain forms of treatment from speech therapy.

Digital telepractic technologies

This time, in 2021, the physical isolation product of the pandemic caused the routines and customs of the majority to change. This gave rise to a new normal that has been established more than expected, where digital telepractic technologies have become present.

In that sense, from the speech therapy sector It is wanted to give more and more space to the aforementioned telepractice so that the evolution of those affected does not stop and work safely.

This 2021, the European Day of Speech Therapy promotes telepractice in order to continue the processes of those affected despite the confinement measures.

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When might you need a speech therapist?

One of the purposes of the European Speech Therapy Day is to convey when it is time to go to a speech therapist to treat communication difficulties. Therefore, going to a speech therapist should be considered when the following occurs:

  • Incessant drawbacks to swallow.
  • Difficulties associated with the voice.
  • Failure to understand and interpret information that is supplied to you.
  • Use of incoherent and lacking language.
  • Problems articulating basic sounds.
  • Confusing modulation.

European Speech Therapy Day: what to remember?

The European Speech Therapy Day leaves as a reflection and recommendation the fact that paying attention to strange communicative behaviors. Thus, the detection of a major problem in time can increase the evolution with the treatment.

In summary, the objective of joining wills is that the majority of existing communication disorders are treated. This, in turn, is intended to improve quality of life and social relationships. Communication is undoubtedly a window of opportunity.