Speech Therapy is a field of expertise practiced by a clinician known as a speech therapist. Speech Therapy is considered a “related health profession” or “allied health profession” along with audiology, optometry, occupational therapy, clinical psychology, physical therapy, and others. The field of SLP is distinguished from other “related health professions” as speech therapists are legally permitted to engage in certain disorders which fall within their scope of practice. Taking note of the contribution of speech therapy especially for mentally retarded children suffering from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, etc, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System considers it useful. So, know speech therapy, speech therapy schools, speech therapist salary, and how to become a speech therapist.
Speech Therapy specialization
Speech therapists specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of:
- Communication disorders (speech disorders and language disorders)
- Cognitive-communication disorders
- Voice disorders
- Swallowing disorders
They also play an important role in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorder (often in a team with pediatricians and psychologists).
Speech therapy definition
The treatment of speech and communication disorders. The approach used varies depending on the disorder. It may include physical exercises to strengthen the muscles used in speech (oral-motor work), speech drills to improve clarity, or sound production practice to improve articulation.
A common misconception is that speech-language pathology is restricted to adjusting a speaker’s speech sound articulation to meet the expected normal pronunciation, such as helping English speaking individuals enunciate the traditionally difficult “R”. Speech therapists can also often help people who stutter to speak more fluently. Articulation and fluency, however, are only two facets of the work of Speech therapists.
Speech therapy benefits
Speech therapy is an intervention method that focuses on helping children with impaired speech or swallowing capabilities. Speech therapists, commonly known as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), are highly educated, trained, and experienced professionals that can provide such services to children and adults. They often work as a team to help patients overcome a wide range of difficulties.
Children or adults that have difficulties communicating may also suffer from mental health and behavioral issues, suffer from poor confidence levels and find social interactions hard. Speech therapists can help people with these issues as well.
Better articulation from Speech Therapy
For people affected by impaired speech, articulation is important. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) defines articulation disorder as the “atypical production of speech sounds characterized by substitutions, omissions, additions or distortions that may interfere with intelligibility.”
As people learn to articulate words properly, they improve their communication skills and confidence. A very common example of this is when children are unable to make the “R” sound. Some grow up with this problem because of the lack of articulatory exercises.
There are several ways in which SLPs can help people articulate words better, one example being that of a ‘race to 100 games’. This game includes dice and a board. The child rolls the dice, and when it lands on a specific sound, the child says it out loud.
Improve swallowing with Speech Therapy
People with speech disorders are often ailed by difficulties swallowing as well. Also known as dysphagia, swallowing disorders can be a result of:
- A stroke
- Brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease, or
- Other neurological diseases
An SLP utilizes a blend of techniques and exercises to improve the oral intake process and reduce the risk of aspiration. These techniques increase the control a person has over their swallowing capability. Some of these techniques include:
- Head positioning technique
- Swallow maneuvers
- Biting techniques
- Modification of food and liquids are taken
- Other techniques can help improve the range of motion, coordination, and strengthening of the jaw, lips, cheek, and tongue muscles
Reduction of stuttering with Speech Therapy
Stuttering can cause problems in speaking fluently. A speech therapist can help affected patients greatly improve their stuttering to a point where it becomes non-existent!
According to The Stuttering Foundation, over 70 million people all around the world are affected by stuttering. An SLP can help reduce stuttering by modifying the way a person speaks and by giving them exercises to strengthen the tongue.
SLPs will advise the patients to:
- Take deep breaths before the encounter and pace their breaths while talking
- Talk slowly
- Avoid certain words. These words include words containing any sounds that might trigger the person’s stutter
- Exercise the trigger words when alone to increase fluency of those words
- Find a rhythm while talking
- Patients should try to visualize their words. If they are going to speak publically, rehearsing the performance can have a huge difference
- Use gestures and pacing to calm the nerves, and in turn, the tongue
More understandable accent with Speech Therapy
Speech therapy isn’t only for those who wish to overcome a speaking disorder, it can also help people who might wish to lose or gain an accent. Actors are a prime example of when people want to change accents through speech therapy. SLPs can help people overcome their accents by first learning the way they currently sound.
Increased confidence & reduced anxiety with Speech Therapy
Unfortunately, people who can’t speak well often suffer from anxiety and decreased confidence levels. They fear being ridiculed by peers.
An SLP can help decrease that anxiety by giving patients confidence in their speech naturally. When you speak with flair and without any faults, it is only natural that your self-esteem rises, allowing you to be more independent and lead a better quality of life.
There are many other benefits of speech therapy as well such as enhancing nonverbal communication. If you think your child is struggling in any part of his/her speech, perhaps it is time to consider a speech therapist at PT Solutions. We love to help bolster patients’ confidence and help them say what they need to without fear.
Speech therapy concern
In fact, speech-language pathology is concerned with a broad scope of speech, language, swallowing, and voice issues involved in communication, some of which include:
Word-finding and other semantic issues, either as a result of specific language impairment (SLI) such as a language delay or as a secondary characteristic of a more general issue such as dementia.
Social communication difficulties involving how people communicate or interact with others.
Structural language impairments, including difficulties creating sentences that are grammatical and modifying word meaning.
Literacy impairments (reading and writing) related to the letter-to-sound relationship, the word-to-meaning relationship, and understanding the ideas presented in a text.
Voice difficulties, such as a raspy voice, a voice that is too soft, or other voice difficulties that negatively impact a person’s social or professional performance.
Cognitive impairments (e.g., attention, memory, executive function) to the extent that they interfere with communication.
The components of speech production include:
- Phonation (producing sound)
- Pitch variance
The components of language include:
- Phonology – manipulating sound according to the rules of a language
- Morphology – understanding components of words and how they can modify the meaning
- Syntax – constructing sentences according to the grammatical rules of a target language
- Semantics – interpreting signs or symbols of communication such as words or signs to construct meaning
- Pragmatics – social aspects of communication
Primary pediatric speech and language disorders include:
- Receptive and expressive language disorders
- Speech sound disorders
- Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS)
- Language-based learning disabilities
Speech pathologist not only works with adolescents with speech and language impediments but also those that are elderly.
Speech therapy services
Speech therapists provide a wide range of services, mainly on an individual basis, but also as support for individuals, families, support groups, and providing information for the general public.
Speech therapists work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.
Speech services begin with initial screening for communication and swallowing disorders and continue with assessment and diagnosis, consultation for the provision of advice regarding management, intervention, and treatment, and providing counseling and other follow up services for these disorders.
Services are provided in the following areas:
- Cognitive aspects of communication
- Language including comprehension and expression in oral, written, graphic, and manual modalities; language processing; preliteracy and language-based literacy skills, phonological awareness
- Swallowing or other upper aerodigestive functions such as infant feeding and aeromechanical events
- Voice, poor vocal volume, abnormal vocal quality. Research demonstrates voice therapy to be especially helpful with certain patient populations; individuals with Parkinson’s Disease often develop voice issues as a result of their disease
- Sensory awareness related to communication, swallowing, or other upper aerodigestive functions
Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, a cleft palate, autism, cerebral palsy, or emotional issues.
Clients and patients
Speech-language pathologists work with clients and patients who may present with a wide range of issues.
Infants and children
- Infants with injuries due to complications at birth, feeding and swallowing difficulties, including dysphagia
- Children with mild, moderate or severe disorders:
- Genetic disorders that adversely affect speech, language and/or cognitive development including cleft palate, Down syndrome, DiGeorge syndrome
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger syndrome
- Developmental delay
- Feeding disorders, including oral motor deficits
- Cranial nerve damage
- Hearing loss
- Craniofacial anomalies that adversely affect speech, language and/or cognitive development
- Language delay
- Specific language impairment
- Specific difficulties in producing sounds, called articulation disorders,
- Pediatric traumatic brain injury
- Developmental verbal dyspraxia
- Cleft palate
In the US, some children are eligible to receive speech therapy services, including assessment and lessons through the public school system. If not, private therapy is readily available through personal lessons with a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist or the growing field of telepractice.
Teleconferencing tools such as Skype are being used more commonly as a means to access remote locations in private therapy practice, such as in the geographically diverse south island of New Zealand.
More at-home or combination treatments have become readily available to address specific types of articulation disorders. The use of mobile applications in speech therapy is also growing as an avenue to bring treatment into the home.
In the UK, children are entitled to an assessment by local NHS Speech and Language Therapy teams, usually after referral by health visitors or education settings, but parents are also entitled to request an assessment directly.
If treatment is appropriate, an educational plan will be drawn up. Speech therapists often play a role in multi-disciplinary teams where a child has speech delay or disorder as part of a wider health condition.
- Adults with mild, moderate, or severe eating, feeding and swallowing difficulties, including dysphagia
- Adults with mild, moderate, or severe language difficulties as a result of:
- Adults desiring transgender voice therapy, usually for male-to-female individuals
Speech therapy schools
- Indian Institute of
speech therapy, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh: 095592 17193
- Dr. S. R.
Chandrasekhar Institute Of Speech And Hearing, Bengaluru, Karnataka: 080 2546 0405
- All India Institute Of
Speech and Hearing, Educational Institution, Mysuru, Karnataka: 0821 250 2100
- National Institute of
Speech and Hearing, Special education school, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala: 0471 294 4666
- BHAVANI SPEECH
THERAPY & SPECIAL SCHOOL, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh: 090106 45554
- Listening Ears Jasola
– Speech Therapy, Special School, New Delhi, Delhi: 1800 121 8535
- Speech Therapy
Centre, Speech & Hearing Specialist, Delhi: 098103 15483
- Pebbles Prayatna|
Occupational|Speech Therapy Centre| Special School-Ernakulam, Kerala: 097463 03555
- India Speech Therapy
Centre, Jaipur, Rajasthan: 094140 62108
- MERF Institute of
Speech & Hearing, Chennai, Tamil Nadu: 044 2449 6685
- Ascend Speech and
Hearing Centre, Hyderabad, Telangana: 098661 82127
- Akshara Speech
Therapy Centre, Hyderabad, Telangana: 090006 72591
How to become a Speech Therapist
There are three major steps that every aspiring speech therapist must follow in order to become a working, competent SLP professional. Below, we have outlined the process that is typically followed to become a speech therapist:
Bachelors Degree Program
First, gain a bachelor’s degree from a reputable higher education institution. Although it is common for speech-language pathologists to come from a wide variety of backgrounds, it doesn’t hurt to demonstrate an interest in the field by earning or holding a degree related to the field of speech therapy.
A few examples of popular undergraduate majors for future speech-language pathologists are:
- Communication sciences and disorders
- Language development
SLP Masters Degree Program
A master’s in Speech-Language Pathology that’s accredited by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association External link is a non-negotiable component for a role as a speech therapist in most states, whether you’re working in a clinic or a school setting.
In the modern era, many working professionals are opting to pursue online speech pathology programs to gain an advanced degree without having to sacrifice location or current income.
SLPs must also be a licensed-a process that varies by state and requires supervised clinical experience. For SLPS who want to work in schools, teaching certification may also be necessary, depending on the state.
Speech therapy salary
In India, a speech therapist or audiologist in a government hospital gets a starting salary of around Rs.5000 per month and this can go up to Rs.20,000 after gaining 2-3 years of work experience. Private hospitals offer better salaries and benefits.
Outside of India, speech therapists are paid much higher salaries. A speech therapist gets an annual average salary of about $52,000 and the highest salary being paid is $80,000 per annum.
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