Speech pathologists help people regain control over their lives after illness or injury. They also help children with speech issues so they can grow up to be productive and happy adults.
If this sounds appealing and you are the type of person that enjoys helping other human beings, keep reading.
What Is a Speech Pathologist?
A speech pathologist performs the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders in adults and children alike.
The job also entails helping prevent such disorders. Speech pathologists often work in hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers, often in close cooperation with other types of healthcare professionals.
Work of a Speech Pathologist
Speech pathologists specialize in treating difficulties in learning such as social communication disorder, auditory processing disorder, and dyslexia.
The day of a speech pathologist involves therapy sessions with patients. Depending on the seriousness of the condition, treatment can last for months. As a speech pathologist, you also conduct group therapy sessions.
Besides speech therapy, swallowing rehabilitation is another area you assist patients with. People can experience difficulty swallowing food, drink, and even their saliva. Treatment involves breaking the act of swallowing into its basic components.
Teaching patients how to move their tongue, lips, and jaw properly from scratch is necessary for returning to normalcy.
It can be difficult to see patients suffer from the conditions that burden them. However, the joy of helping them overcome their speech issues is a source of constant fulfillment.
The job also brings you together with doctors, nurses, and specialists that create a support team for the patient.
How Speech Pathologists Help With Language and Communication Issues
Increasing Phonological Awareness
Phonological awareness skills are necessary for the task of reading and decoding text. These skills involve the ability of the patient to derive meaning from what they’re reading. When working with children, you will be helping them with rhyming and sounding out words.
Building Language Use Skills
Improving language use in patients is a gradual process. As a speech pathologist, you help children build up to using longer sentences. At the same time, you will be helping patients pack more meaning into sentences.
Increasing comprehension involves moving from understanding meaning directly stated in the text to pick up the underlying meaning.
Words are the building blocks of communication. Expanding a child’s vocabulary is like building a house on the comprehension foundation you’ve previously established.
Boosting Reading Skills
Being able to recall the information the patient reads and combining other learning skills is essential to functional reading. Analyzing pictures and other visual cues contributes to proper reading comprehension.
Fostering Social Communication Skills
The last piece of the puzzle involves fostering the ability to communicate the information a child reads. As a speech pathologist, you will have conversations with the patient where you assess their body language and tone.
Careers for Speech Pathologist
Finding careers for speech pathologists depends on the type of job you’re interested in.
Places like Speech Pathology Graduate Programs have graduate programs and openings in every state so you can structure your journey in helping others accordingly.