Speech pathologists or speech therapists not only treat those who have suffered a stroke or serious medical condition and need treatment, but also those who wish to lessen or tone down their accents. All across the world, not only are different languages spoken but a variety of different accents. Speech therapists also will train actors and actresses in different accents for movie, television and theater roles. If one has ever tried, maintaining a different accent for a long period of time can be very difficult and challenging.
Speech therapists must develop and formulate a program to meet each individual needs through speech techniques and exercises. The earlier the detection of a speech problem the better chances more progress and recovery can take place. The level of speech disability will vary so implementing certain techniques to cater to an individual is important.
Education and training to become a speech therapist can be rather extensive with studies in public speaking, biology, mathematics, social sciences, human development, phonetics, anatomy, physical science, and linguistics. The Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology is offered through many universities. Certification is also an option for potential speech therapists who wish to add to their credentials. This is offered by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Those who already possess a graduate’s degree may apply for certification.
Salaries for speech therapists can range form $38,000-$90,000 per year depending on experience and education level. Many speech therapists may also teach at the university level. Speech therapists are expected to increase over the next decade because many stroke and physical disability patients are having higher success rate in recovery. This will cause speech therapists to play a more active role in their recovery. Also, many children are diagnosed with speech impediments at an early age which will require speech therapists to address these issues before they become worse as they age.
Those who truly care about others are prime candidates for a speech therapist career. Patience is also a virtue a speech therapist must have because individuals learn at different paces. Those who are dedicated and committed to speech therapy may discover new techniques and apply them to their patients. Whether the person was born with a speech problem, developed it over time, or obtained one due to an accident, speech therapists must be able to deal with all conditions.
Communication is something every human should be able to do to the best of their abilities, whether it is recovery from a stroke or a stutter. Those who suffer from these should have the opportunity to recover as best as they can, if not 100% then at the very least show some improvement. A speech therapist is similar to any other type of therapist such as a physical or psychological one. If one has a physical ailment such as a bad leg, a physical therapist helps that person strengthen that leg to its previous condition or better then it was before. A psychological therapist helps an individual improve ones mental condition that suffered some type of mental trauma over the course of their lifetime. A speech therapist is no different.
While not as serious as those who suffered a stroke or some type of brain injury, those in the public eye can use the speech therapist services as well. Public figures must be able to speak clearly and effectively in front of others. Having the ability of communicating clearly shows a level of professionalism.
Speech therapist’s who can speak a second language will see their job opportunities increase dramatically. Not only people who speak English will need the assistance of a speech therapist. While being a speech therapist may not be physically demanding, it can be mentally demanding. Those who are in the education sector may become stressed because dealing with people on a continual basis can be draining. While many people who work as a speech therapist may work the typical 40 hour work week, it can be a mentally demanding 40 hour work week.
Those who have many years of experience and success with helping individuals overcome their speech difficulties may open their own private practice.