Speech Therapy

How to Become A Speech Therapist?

A Speech Therapist:

A person who is specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of speech, voice, and language disorders is called a Speech Therapist. They are even capable of helping people with stuttering problems, fluency and rhythm difficulties, inappropriate pitching or voicing and speech quality problems. The speech therapist sets plan involving speech exercises to reduce the disability. They even involve psychologist or psychiatrist for required cases in few children. They keep a careful record on the evaluation and progress and keep developing the treatment procedures. An important part of a speech therapy session is the counseling and providing support to the patient as well as the families. They not only explain them the problem but also aware them of all procedures to cope with it. They educate families how to use treatment techniques at home and on methods to modify behavior impeding communication. The job requires high level of patience and compassion. The process of Speech therapy can be really painstaking and slow and create a lot of frustrating in majority of cases. the therapist has to be very attentive and must be a keen observer to evaluate the patients progress. Understanding and empathizing emotional strains and stresses is most important.

Requirement: A Master’s degree in Speech Pathology; 375 hours of supervised clinical experience, a passing grade on a national examination and a minimum of 9 months of post-graduate professional experience is s must.

Tasks Of A Speech Pathologist:

  • Monitor progress in the patient.
  • Adjust treatments according to the progress.
  • Evaluate hearing or speech and language in the patient.
  • Diagnose the cause of the disorder.
  • Analyze the degree or severity of the impairment in the patient.
  • Record results and proper documentation of information is very important.
  • Develop and implement treatment plans with specificity for different disorders.
  • Design individual or group activity programs in schools so that behavior, speech, language, or swallowing problems can be dealt with.
  • Participate in meetings regarding the progress in the patient.
  • Start new techniques for establishing communication effectively. Sign language, lip reading, and voice improvement are few such examples.
  • Educate the patients and the family members about various communication techniques and strategies.

Tools Used:

  • Adaptive Communication Switches — Sound Switches, Infrared Switches, Jellybean Switches and Touch Switches.
  • Sound Measuring Apparatus or Decibel Meter — Electroglottographs (EGG), Laryngographs.
  • Stroboscopes — Diagnostic Stroboscopes, Video Stroboscopes and Digital Video Stroboscopy Systems.
  • Tablet Computers — Dynamic Display Devices
  • Voice Synthesizers — Augmentative Communication Devices, Therapeutic Voice Synthesizers.

Technology Used:

  • Analytical or Scientific Software — Avaaz Innovations Computerized Speech Research Environment CSRE; Signal Analysis Software; Language analysis software; and Speech Analysis Software.
  • Medical Software — Propeller Multimedia React2; Avaaz Innovations Interactive Voice Analysis System IVANS; Micro Video Video Voice Speech Training System and Bungalow Software Aphasia Tutor Software.
  • Music or Sound Editing Software — Adobe Systems Adobe Audition
  • Spreadsheet Software — Microsoft Excel
  • Word Processing Software — Microsoft Word

Knowledge Used:

  • English Language — Structure and content of the English language. It must include meanings and spellings of words, rules of grammar and composition.
  • Therapy and Counseling — Principles, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation methods of physical and mental dysfunctions.
  • Education and Training — Principles and methods for designing curriculum and training plans, teaching and instruction methods and the measurement of training progresses.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Principles and processes of customer and personal services. Assessment of customer needs, meeting service quality standards and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology — Human behavior and performance; differences in individual abilities, personalities and interests; learning and motivation; research methods on psychology and the assessment and treatment of behavioral disorders.
  • Clerical — Administrative and clerical procedures and systems usage. It includes word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Medicine and Dentistry — Information on diagnosis and treatment of human injuries, diseases, and deformities by studying symptoms, and deciding on treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions and preventive health-care measures.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Group behavior and dynamics; human migrations; societal trends and influences; ethnicity; culture differences, their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management — Strategic planning, human resources modeling, production methods, resource allocation, leadership technique and coordination of people and resources.
  • Computers and Electronics — Circuit boards, chips, computer hardware and software, electronic equipment, processors, and computer applications and programming.

Skills Required:

  • Instructing — Teaching the patient and others how to act or perform.
  • Speaking — Communicate and pass message to others.
  • Active Listening — Listening to what people are saying effectively, taking time to understand, asking questions and checking interruptions at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding sentences and paragraphs written.
  • Time Management — Managing one’s own time and simultaneously time of others.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods, deciding usage of appropriate procedures for particular situations, strategies to learning and teach new things.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning abilities to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to solve problems.
  • Monitoring — Assessing performance of the child, others and of your own; and decide corrective actions.
  • Writing — Communicating in writing effectively.

Abilities:

  • Speech Recognition — To identify and understand the speech of others.
  • Speech Clarity — To speak clearly so that others can understand.
  • Oral Comprehension — To listen and understand what ideas and information are presented through words and sentences spoken.
  • Deductive Reasoning — To apply general rules to solve problems and produce sensible answers.
  • Oral Expression — To communicate ideas and thought in speaking.
  • Hearing Sensitivity — To detect differences between sounds varying in pitch and loudness.
  • Written Comprehension — To read and understand information and present ideas in writing.
  • Fluency of Ideas — To come up with many new ideas about a topic (stress on number of ideas, not quality, correctness or creativity).
  • Inductive Reasoning — To combine several piece of information in order to form general rules or conclusions.
  • Problem Sensitivity — To judge between right and wring by telling. But problem-solving or recognizing onset of a problem is not included.

Work Activities:

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Getting Information
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Documenting/Recording Information

Work Context:

  • Contact With Others
  • Face-to-Face Discussions
  • Work With Work Group or Team
  • Freedom to Make Decisions
  • Telephone
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work
  • Electronic Mail
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
  • Coordinate or Lead Others

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