……..reason you might be reading this post, either you want to become a Speech Therapist or you might be in a need of one. In either cases following article of mine would be fruitful for you.
To start with lets just confirm the category of profession in which Speech Therapist belongs to. Speech therapist is a rehabilitation/paramedical professionals who deals with the patients with speech/language or communication difficulties and difficulties associated with chewing and swallowing.
Now lets check the service area of Speech Therapist.
Speech therapist serves wide range of population in which infants, toddlers, adolescents, middle age and old age groups are involved.
Need of speech therapist is exclusively felt for pediatric population(children). Incidence of speech difficulties or disorders are more in pediatric population and it could be congenital or acquired one.
Following are the disorders just to name few where speech therapist contributes in.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, oromotor weakness, swallowing disorder,(Dysphagia) mispronounciations(misarticulation), cleft of lip &/or palate, Voice problem,stuttering/stammering etc.
Geriatric population(adults) needs speech therapist in various conditions like stroke,brain hemorrhage, different neurological conditions,traumatic brain injury etc.
What are the basic attributes of Speech Therapist.
Speech Therapist has a complete knowledge of system and processing of speech and language. anatomy and physiology of all the organs which contributes for speaking. Good knowledge of developmental psychology, abnormal psychology. Speech therapist by default is a counselor where in to counsel she/he does not only look after the patients but patient’s family members too.
To develop speech and language in children and to help recover the same in adults, speech therapist conducts her/his session on weekly basis, it could be once, twice or thrice depending upon the severity. Different therapeutic techniques, methods and approaches are used to achieve goal. Please make a note Speech therapist does not involve in a medicinal management, her/his work is purely therapeutic in its nature.
Only having knowledge and above mentioned attributes does not make one a very good speech therapist .There is a thin line between good and very good, one need to be very much active, lively, on the toes, having presence of mind, good therapy planning abilities, motivator for patients, should be skillful enough so that patients specially kids will find it interesting, should have good sense of humor as kids like it. At times a therapist has to be a kid with a kid.
In short if one has to be a successful speech therapist person should be a good actor too… as the plotting and planning and performing in a session leads to a result.
So to all aspiring Speech Therapist your goal should not be only to become speech therapist but a very good Speech Therapist
because world need us!