Speech therapy, referred to professionally as speech-language pathology, is an important discipline that helps people with speech problems communicate more effectively. A number of conditions, from emotional problems to birth defects, can cause a person to have difficulty speaking properly. Speech therapists are able to apply techniques to help them develop language skills and work around both physical and psychological obstacles. Jobs in speech pathology are relatively plentiful, and opportunities are expected to grow for qualified individuals.
Should you consider a career in speech therapy?After you examine the duties, training and outlook of speech therapists, you'll have a much better idea if it's the right profession for you.
Duties Of A Speech TherapistSpeech-language pathologists are responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of verbal communication disorders in children and adults. Problems with speaking may occur because of developmental disabilities, disease, psychological ailments, and several other medical conditions. After an initial evaluation and diagnosis, a speech therapist must then determine the most effective treatment options for the patient. An individualized treatment plan is then put together and implemented. Speech therapy treatment may consist of one or more of the following:
- Teaching patients to vocalize the proper sounds
- Teaching patients alternative forms of communication if speech rehabilitation is slow or impossible
- Teaching reading and writing skills
- Developing muscles used for voice communication
- Counseling patients and families