Some of the fundamental qualities of a human are to speak and to listen and be able
to understand the language in which they speak or to which they listen. But unfortunately
for some these basic capabilities are missing either naturally or due to some ailment
or accident. The ability to speak or understand language becomes very difficult
for some or completely non-existent in some. Fortunately, today the advancements
made in medical science has made it possible for such people to undertake therapy
programs and treatments which make them capable of speaking and listening to understand
a language. These therapists are called speech and language pathologists and specialized
training are mandatory to become a speech therapists or language pathologist. Most
speech related disorders are treated by speech therapists or pathologists. The therapists
usually work with people with disorders like inability to speak, but with no disorder
in their vocal sounds, sometimes they are unable to speak certain vowel or consonant
sounds, lack of speech rhythm, and also people with swallowing difficulties.
To be a speech therapist, it is essential to have a Post graduate degree in speech
therapy and hand on training at a center dedicated to providing speech therapy.
Some centers only accept licensed speech and language pathologists who have been
licensed by the authorized governing body. A doctor of audiology degree is another
eligibility criteria that are accepted worldwide.
Required Skills for a career
Some of the skills include:
- Should be a very intent and patient listener
- Clarity and right rhythm in speech to be clear in understanding
- Logical thinking and reasoning
- Formulating customized learning strategies depending on the learner
- Ability to identify the problem with the learner and exercise problems solving skills
- Management of time, and the class if teaching a group.
- Generate Evaluation methods and identify indicators of the level of performance.
How to become a Speech and Language Pathologist??
Acquiring the academic qualifications is the first step towards becoming a speech
and language pathologist. Next, hands – on experience need to be acquired and once
the confidence to handle a patient alone is gained, the person is able to become
a full –fledged speech and language pathologist.
- Diagnoses and treatment of speech and audio related disorders
- Counseling as part of the therapy program
- Implementing processes of technology to enhance communication devices.
- Inducing the ability in patients to accept aids like those for hearing and other
implant that enhance hearing abilities.
- Creating an environment where speech is listened to with patience and concern to
identify disorders, if any.
There is a great demand for speech and language therapists hence the career prospects
are quite bright. From starting out as an intern to progressing as a practicing
therapist to owning a center for therapy are some of prospective ways in which the
career of a speech therapist can progress.
Most speech therapists earn a very handsome salary depending on the center they
are associated with and also depending on the location of the center. Nevertheless,
the salary earned by such specialists are quite lucrative.