According to National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 7.7% of U.S. children that are ages 3-17 and 7.6% of adults have had a disorder related to voice, speech, language, or swallowing. A speech therapist changes many of lives for the better and gives them access to a normalized and rewarding life!
Speech-language pathologists are also known as speech therapists. A speech pathologist assesses, diagnoses, treats, and assists in the prevention of swallowing and communication disorders in adults and kids. Below we will get in to what causes these disorders, how they are treated and how one gets in to a career in speech therapy.
How to Become a Speech Language Pathologist
Do All States Require Speech Pathology Certification?
No, Not all states require a speech pathology certification. But it is more and more common for all employers to do so. All speech-language pathologists can earn the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP). This certification is offered by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Also it is important to note that the certification usually will satisfies all of the requirements for state licensure and like we stated above it is required by most employers in today’s job market for SLPs.
For anyone to become a speech language pathologist and to get their CCC-SLP certification, they must first graduate from an accredited program(see the list below for all the approved programs), pass the certification examination, and then complete a fellowship under the direct supervision of a licensed speech pathologist. Every three years SLPs must re certify with 30 hours of continuing education training.
There are also three organizations that offer speech therapists and pathologists specialized certifications. These specialized licenses are from the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders, the American Board of Child Language and Language Disorders, and the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders.
What is a Speech Pathologist?
It is most common for to assess a patients speech or language, along with their cognitive abilities. Their goal is to identify the communication problems and figure out the best treatment plan for them. Figuring out if it is a articulation, fluency, voice, receptive or expressive language disorder is vital. Or it can be a combination of them all. Every child and adult is different and it is important that each patient be treated individually.
Causes for vast and widespread as are the treatments. It is important to enroll a patients in speech therapy as soon as possible, for study has shown that the quicker the treatment starts, the better the long term results. We have taken the time to list some of the causes below:
What are Some of the Speech Therapy Strategies?
It is most common to see these three strategies used by speech therapists and pathologists. We have provided brief explanations of them for you.
Articulation therapy – Oral exercises such as facial massaging and tongue and jaw exercises to stimulate and training the muscles that are needed for proper speech patterns.
Language intervention activity – These are activities where a SLP interacts with children by talking or playing using objects, pictures, speech repetition and emulation to assist in the stimulation of the language abilities.
Oral-motor-feeding and swallowing therapy – This therapy is an age appropriate exercise using sound production exercises that involve having the speech therapist model syllables and sounds in words.
What Does a Speech Pathologist do
Evaluate speech and swallowing difficulty along with language levels
Come up with a treatment plan specific to patient’s needs
Teach patients how to make correct sounds
Assist in the improvement of vocabulary and sentence structures
Help develop/strengthen muscles that are used in swallowing
Counsel any individuals and families on the disorders and how to help
Educational services (Schools) – 43%
Medical offices – 20%
Hospitals – 14%
Nursing facilities – 5%
Self-employed – 5%
Accredited Speech Pathology Programs
Enrollment in an accredited SLP training program is mandatory for certification. Below we have gone through and listed all the approved SLP programs by the American Speech Language Hearing Association. Upon graduating from one of the programs at the link below you will be ready to take your certification exam and get your speech therapy license n your respective state.
(ASHA) American Speech Language Association – Council of Academic Accreditation Accredited Programs
What is the Career Outlook for Speech Pathologists?
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners
Total, all other occupations in U.S. economy
Data from bls.gov
What is the Average Speech Pathologist Salary?
Below you see the breakdown of what a speech language pathologist makes in a year and per hour. All data come from the latest bls.gov data.
2017 Median Salary – $76,610 per year
Typical Entry-Level Education – Master’s Degree Needed
Total # of Jobs in 2016 – 145,100 total jobs
Overall Job Outlook – 2016-26 – 18% growth
Overall Growth – 2016-26 – +25,900 jobs