The development of communication skills is a dynamic and active process which is shaped by interdependent factors intrinsic to all since birth. But there can be situations wherein this essential element may be missing since birth or lost due to an accident or injury such as brain injury, brain stroke, cleft palate, cerebral Paralysis, delayed development of the body, a mentally challenged condition etc.
Speech pathology or otherwise known as speech language pathology is a field of medical science that focuses on identifying and treating the above mentioned speech defects and helping individuals gain/re-gain speaking ability in the most effective manner.
Work of a Speech Pathologist
When we think about speech-language pathologists, we probably think of someone who diagnoses stutters or lisp. It is true that they do cater to those issues, but their scope of practice has a broader perspective.
Speech-language pathologists screen, evaluate, identify, and treat speech, voice, language fluency (stuttering), feeding and swallowing problems for all age groups as well as advocate the prevention of these disorders. The communication health assistants along with the pathologists work together and play a significant role in this field.
A relatively new profession introduced to the field of medical science, many individuals are making their way into this discipline to serve the society. Those looking to make a career as a speech language pathologist must obtain a Master’s degree in SLP. A certificate program or associate degree in SLP is the basic qualification required to start practice as a pathology assistant.
A career in this field is promising and high paying. In addition to flexible working hours and stable career path. Speech-language therapists can practice their profession in a variety of environments, either independently or in pathology labs, hospitals, clinics, schools, rehabilitation centres, nursing homes, early intervention programmes and more.
The profession is quiet demanding and a speech pathologist needs to custom tailor an individualized plan of care for each of its patient. It is imperative for them to have ample patience and an eye for minutest of details to achieve success in each case taken up. Below mentioned are some of the job responsibilities of speech pathologists:-
· Assess patients based on their needs and diagnose a course of treatment
· Closely work with physicians and other social workers to help patients recover quickly
· Work with teachers in schools
· Use equipment to help fasten the treatment process
· Formulate a daily plan to churn better results