Language Career:
Speech Language Pathologist
Alora Williams 6th hour

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, six to eight million people in the United States have a language impairment of some kind, and more than seven million people have voice disorders.

So in 1925 the American Speech-Hearing Association was formed.

Speech pathologists, which are sometimes called speech therapists, assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent communication disorders in patients. Speech and language disorders can occur due to a number of things such as; stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, cleft palate or even emotional problems.

Most pathologists work full time and more than half of them work in schools.

Speech pathologists average a salary of $69,870 per year.

The job outlook from 2012 to 2022 is expected to increase by 19%!

The main goal of speech therapy is to improve communication – mainly, to make sure your child can be understood in the wider world. A few other goals of speech therapy include:

  • Improving communication between the brain and the body through visual and auditory aids such as mirrors and tape recorders
  • Improving coordination of speech muscles through strengthening exercises, such as pushing the tongue against a tongue depressor, and training exercises involving sound repetition and imitation

The length of time in speech-language therapy depends on many factors such as the severity of the problem, the frequency and consistency of therapy, and the amount of help the child is getting at home.

There are many benefits to speech therapy, some include

  • Achievement of school readiness skills
  • Improvement in the ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
  • Increased independence
  • Increased ability to problem-solve in an independent environment

Along with benefits there are a few drawbacks. A drawback may be the fact that speech therapy is very time-consuming for both the parent and child. It’s not enough to have a therapy session; the lessons from the session must be applied throughout the week, at home. Although speech is by far the most desirable choice, some children may not easily acquire intelligible vocal speech and so other communication systems must be considered, which may frustrate or discourage parents. Just know that any kind of communication is great! Over time your child's speech will begin to improve, just be patient and continue to work with your child.

Along with Speech Pathologists there are Speech-Language Pathology Assistants whom assist with clinical and administrative duties such as speech and hearing screenings, equipment testing and record-keeping so that pathologists can spend more time with clients. Speech Pathologists and their assistants work pretty closely with Audiologists. Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing and balance problems. They assess patients’ levels of hearing damage and offer suitable solutions and treatment options.

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