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What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

06 May

Hi everyone!  I apologize for posting this topic so late.  I have been really busy with work, this week, and wasn’t able to post at the beginning of the week to kick off the celebration of “Better Hearing and Speech Month” (for the month of “May”).  But, I guess it’s better late than never…:)

For week one, I would like to give a brief explanation of “What is a Speech-language pathologist?”  Often times, many people have heard of a “Speech-Language Pathologist,” but don’t have a general understanding of what our work entails…The information presented below will assist in developing a better understanding of “What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?”

History

The need for a professional to deal with disorders of speech was identified in the 1920s; however. “speech correctionists” were not introduced to the schools until the 1950s.  IN the beginning, speech correctionists dealt with articulation, but over the years, the field has grown to include voice, fluency, language, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), accent reduction, acquistion and oral-motor evaluations and therapies.  SLPs deal with people of all ages in schools, hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and private practice.

Education and Certification:

There are four professional terms associated with speech therapy:

  1.  “Speech Correctionists”
  2.   “Speech Therapists”
  3.   “Speech-Language Pathologist” or “Speech Pathologist”
  4.   “Speech-Language Specialist”

These four terms are often used interchangeably, but can mean different things.  In the 1950s, a person would receive a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Correction.  This certificate was given until the mid-eighties when the requirements for the teaching certificate changed.

Today, in order to work in most schools, an SLP must obtain “Speech-Language Specialist” or “Speech-Language Pathologist” certificate which requires a master’s degree and approximately 300 clinical hours in diagnostics and interventions.

The master’s program for Speech-Language Pathology is unique in that it combines science, education, medicine and psychology.  Most graduate program 40-60 graduate credits, in addition to several clinical internships.

SLPs may also be registered to obtain two additional certificates:  The Certificate of Clinical Competence and a state license (CCC).  The CCCs are issued when the SLP completes a master’s degree, 375 hours of supervised clinical hours in communication disorders and therapy, a passing score on the ASHA exam and completion of a Clinical Fellowship Year.  State license requirements vary.  SLPs are usually praxis referred to as “Speech-Language Pathologists” or “Speech Therapists.”

Job Duties:

School-Based Program:  Articulation therapy, Voice therapy, Stuttering therapy, Language therapy, Child Study Team Member, Group language lessons, Sign language programs, Speech reading programs, Speech/language evaluations and Hearing screenings

Rehabilitative Program:  Dysphagia therapy, Videofloroscopy studies, Laryngectomy patients, Closed head injury, Stroke and trauma, Alzheimer’s patients, Cleft palate, Speech/language testing and Hearing screenings

Note:  The information presented above was derived from the “Super Duper Handy Handouts” called “What’s News in Speech!”  The author is Robyn Merkel-Piccini, M.A., CCC-SLP.

Thank you for taking the time to read the information presented above.  The next topic, for week two, will address Articulation/Phonology Disorder(s).

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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3 responses to “What is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

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