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Career as a Speech- Language Therapist



Who is a speech- language therapist?

Speech language therapists, work with people who have a variety of disorders that include the inability to produce certain sounds, speech rhythm and fluency problems, and difficulties with their voices. They also help people who want to modify accents or who have swallowing impairments. Speech language therapist work involves assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of speech-related disorders.

What does a speech- language therapist do?

Speech and language therapists assess and treat a person with specific speech, language and communication problems to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. They work directly with people of all ages. As allied health professionals they also work closely with parents, carers and other professionals, including teachers, nurses and occupational therapists. More specifically SLT can help with following problems:

  • fluency: stuttering, and cluttering

  • Speech: articulation

  • Language: ability, and comprehension of spoken and written language

  • Cognition: attention,memory, ability to solve problems

  • Voice: characteristics of vocal tone

  • Auditory habitation & auditory rehabilitation: recovery techniques associated with speech, hearing & language disorders

  • Swallowing disorders: stroke and congenital disorders

  • Other services: some therapists will specialize in other services including professional voice development, accent or dialect modification, transgender voice, business communication modification, and voice hygiene

Duties of a speech- language therapist

This job generally requires the ability to do the following work:

  • Evaluate patients

  • Help patients establish goals

  • Provide rehab assistance to meet goals

  • Attend individualized education program (IEP) meetings for students

  • Consult with teachers, parents, or medical providers as necessary

  • Follow-up

  • Provide referrals when appropriate

  • Maintain records.

What is a workplace of a speech-language therapist like?

Speech – language therapists can work at community health centres, hospital wards

, outpatient departments,schools, children’s centres,day centres,clients’ homes, courtrooms, prisons, independent/private clinics or at home

How to become a speech- language therapist?

If one is aspiring for a successful career in speech therapy,he /she can start by looking into under-graduate courses. However, to be eligible for these courses, you need to have a background in science. After graduation if you wish to specialise, then you can pursue a Masters in speech therapy offered by universities.

These are the courses one can do:

  • Master of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology (MASLP) - 2 yrs.

  • Bachelor of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology [BASLP] - 4 yrs.

  • Diploma in Hearing, Language & Speech (DHLS) - 1 yr.

  • Post Graduate Certificate Course in Auditory Verbal Therapy [PGCAVT] - 6 months

Knowledge required

One needs to know the anatomy of the structures and parts involved in speaking. It’s necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of phonetics and how sounds are produced. Apart from that, one needs to know about psychological testings too.

Essential traits to be a good speech-language therapist

One needs to be:

1. Be compassionate.

A sincere desire to help their patients should be the first trait a prospective speech-language pathologist possesses. Without a compassionate and caring nature, success in treating and bonding with patients will be limited.


2. Be sensitive.

The ability to be sensitive to others’ needs, desires, and possible problems or emotional triggers is another trait a pathologist should have. Without a marked sensitive nature, the SLP may find it hard to truly connect with their patients.


3. Have good verbal communication skills.

You must be able to clearly communicate verbally with a variety of individuals. This trait is not only essential to aiding others with speech difficulties, but in communicating with caretakers, hospitals, PCPs, and other providers.


4. Be a good listener.

Listening will also serve you well. If you’re able to listen to the needs and wants of your clients and their caretakers, issues should be kept to a minimum. Being able to listen means that more communication gets done in less time, so you’re not asking people to repeat themselves if you weren’t listening the first time they spoke.


5. Be a good teacher.

You should have at least a medium grasp on how to teach someone to perform a task correctly. Guiding them through steps, whether verbal or physical (such as swallowing) is essential.


6. Be persistent.

You need to be able to see something through to the end. Sometimes your caseload or clients may be difficult, but having the grit to stick it out and progress to the other side is a highly desired trait. Giving up halfway through a task is never a good start.


7. Be resourceful.

Being close at hand with the correct solution or item will never go amiss. Always have things on hand that you might not think of – office supplies, spare pens, pads of paper – you never know when certain tools or tricks will come in handy.


8. Be adaptable.

You need to think on your feet. Improvisation and the ability to adjust plans or care at a moment’s notice are wonderful skills to have. Adapt to the situation, rather than assuming a situation will adapt to you and your needs.


9. Have good scientific aptitude.

You need an affinity for sciences (both biological and social), anatomy, and languages. Understanding your patients and your caseload is crucial to success as a speech-language pathologist.


10. Work well with others.

Being able to communicate and work well with either a team of professionals or your client is key. Being able to get along with a variety of people, even if some may be difficult and inflexible, is an important trait for a speech-language pathologist

Work activities

Speech language therapists often use variety of techniques, tools and therapies to deal with their clients

A speech and language therapist (SLT)will treat babies, children and adults with varying levels of speech, language and communication problems, or difficulties in swallowing, drinking or eating.

one could deal with a diverse client group, including people with physical and learning disabilities, hearing loss/deafness, psychiatric disorders or dementia, and could treat a range of conditions, including cleft palate, stammering, language delay and voice disorders.

One will usually work as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside other health professionals, and will often liaise with family, carers or teachers when developing treatment plans

SLT helps

Babies with:

· early play and communication skills

· feeding and swallowing difficulties


Children with:

· mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties

· physical disabilities

· language delay

· specific language impairment

· specific difficulties in producing sounds

· hearing impairment

· cleft palate

· stammering

· autism/social interaction difficulties

· dyslexia

· voice disorders

· selective mutism

· swallowing difficulties


Adults with:

· communication and swallowing problems following acquired neurological impairments and degenerative conditions, including stroke, head injury, Parkinson’s disease and dementia

· head and neck cancer

· voice problems

· mental health issues

· learning difficulties

· physical disabilities

· stammering

· hearing impairment

Suitable type of personality Speech-language pathologists typically have an interest in the Thinking, Creating and Helping interest areas, according to the Holland Code framework. The Thinking interest area indicates a focus on researching, investigating, and increasing the understanding of natural laws. The Creating interest area indicates a focus on being original and imaginative, and working with artistic media. The Helping interest area indicates a focus on assisting, serving, counselling, or teaching other people.

One should be a compassionate person who wants to help, a patient listener and a detail-oriented person. One needs to have a calm and approachable personality. One should also be good at critical thinking and problem-solvingtechniques.

Salary

One can earn 10,000 to 30,000 per month in India


Frequently asked questions

Should I become a speech-language therapist?

If you have excellent communication and listening skills and enjoy helping others, consider training to become a speech and language therapist.


Do adults also need speech therapy?

Yes,sometimes.


Which are the Colleges that provide courses to be speech language therapist in India

ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped Located at Kishanchand Marg, Bandra (West), Mumbai, four Regional Centers located at Secunderabad, Kolkata, Noida and Janla (Bhubaneswar) and two Composite Regional Centres at Bhopal and Ahmadabad for Persons with Disabilities

Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research Sector 12Chandigarh 160012 Course: B.Sc. Audiology and Speech & Language All India Institute of Medical Sciences Ansari Nagar, New Delhi 110029 Course: BSc Speech Therapy and Hearing, MSc Speech Pathology and Audiology Gujarat University Navrangpura, Ahmedabad 880009, Gujarat Course: Diploma in Audiology and Speech Therapy University of Bombay Ali Yavar Jung National Institutefor the Hearing Handicapped Kishen Chand Marg, Bandra (West) Mumbai 400050 Course: B.Sc. Hearing & Language M.Sc Hearing Speech and Language TN Medical College BYL Nair Charitable Hospital Mumbai 400008 Course: BSc Speech & Hearing M.Sc Osmania University Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Course: BSc Hearing Lang. & speech University of Chennai Centenary Building Chepauk Chennai 600005 Course: BSc Speech & Hearing M.Sc Audiology & Speech Therapy University of Mysore Karya Saudha, Crawford Hall, PB No. 17, Mysore 570005, Karnataka Course: BSc (Speech Pathology or audiology), MSc speech & Hearing Kasturba Gandhi Medical College Manipal, Karnataka Course: BSc Speech & Hearing Institute of Speech & Hearing Hannur Road, Bangalore Course: BSc Hearing Lang. & speech Institute of Nursing A.B Shetty Marg, Mangalore Course: BSc Hearing Lang. & speech All India Institute & Special Hearing Mansazangolhri, Mysore 576006 Course: B.Sc Hearing Lang. & speech M.Sc JM Institute of Speech &Hearing Inderpuri, Keshrinagar Patna 800023 Course: Dip. in Hearing Language & Speech Indian Institute of Health Education Near Control Jail Berur Patna 800002 Course: B.Sc Hearing Language & Speech Medical Trust Hospital MG Road Cochin 582016 Course: Dip. in Hearing Language Speech Sri Ram Chandra Medical Institute Porur, Chennai 600010 Course: B.Sc Hearing Lang. & Speech

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