Last century I worked in a rehabilitation hospital for people with acquired brain injury from stroke or degenerative diseases. A woman came for speech therapy whose facial paralysis was so mild one would hardly notice, and her speech seemed fine. She found it distressing to have an asymmetrical face, and was frustrated that everyone kept telling her, 'oh but your problems are so mild!'. Her argument was, they were still causing her distress and were therefore worth addressing. I learned to see things from her point of view when I had Bell's Palsy - a facial paralysis that can resolve spontaneously or be permanent. I dribbled my drinks, spoke unclearly and everything tasted of soap. Some sympathetic person who will remain anonymous loved saying, 'you're laughing on the other side of your face now!' My paralysis disappeared after a few weeks but I will never tell someone his or her problems are too mild to be worthy of attention.
One of the privileges about working independently is that I can give time to people like this lady. It was much harder to justify when I was under pressure to prioritise who could be seen. A mild problem which causes you distress is still worth addressing if we can ease it. Some people only come for one or two appointments. Adults can be empowered once they understand the reasons, both psychological and physical for their stammer; the mechanics of their lisp; the neurology behind their poor articulation/word finding difficulties. Demystifying is my favourite thing, and is more than half the battle. Parents see their child's speech/language problems clearly, and can understand how to help.
Sometimes therapy takes weeks, months or years. We can work at the pace that suits the client- intensive sessions or periodic reviews to lend support and guidance. Reducing anxiety and stress is the aim, so we can then work on taking back control.