What is Speech Pathology?

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This paper explores the career of speech pathology through a series of sources including, Anatomy of a stutter, by Sobel which goes into detail about how stuttering stems from the whole body. Another source includes, A Smoother Life for People Who Stutter, by the Los Angeles Times, which is a story about the effects of how stuttering affects a person individually. Next, exploring the Introduction to Clinical Methods in Communication Disorders, by Paul R, this source gives a focus on the careers of speech pathologists and audiologists.

Lastly, a study conducted by Missouri State Students working with patients with dementia. Each source has a different approach on the career field as some look over the career as an over view and others go into detail about the ways a person in the career field could potentially benefit other’s lives and potentially their own. There will be a look into how the effects of speech pathology really have good outcomes and people especially with disorders in stuttering.

Speech Language Pathology is a career field in which one will work with a client from birth through old age. “SLPs work with infants and toddlers with a variety of developmental disabilities, including hearing impairment, intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, cognitional anomalies such as cleft palate, congenital disorders such as cerebral palsy or fetal alcohol syndrome, and feeding and swallowing problems.” (3-4, Paul, 2014)

Through this there are many different areas to work in the field. SLP’s can work in hospitals, school, nursing homes, and even own their own practice. In schools, they work around the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which helps provide communication intervention throughout the academic studies. With adults, they can work with traumatic brain injury patients and patient who have dealt with a stroke. Overall, Speech Pathologists are needed in the world to provide support to people become more comfortable with themselves and in the working world.

So, what? What is the need in the community? The need for speech pathologists in the community is very great because people are all different and need help in personal ways that only some experts can help with. One issue within the speech Pathology field is stuttering. “Stuttering is a communication disorder, with speech disruptions that typically strike at the beginning of a word or sentence. The condition can range from mild to severe.” (Miller,2003). Stuttering can affect not only the effect of the message being conveyed but also the individual personally.

Anxiety is a big issue that hold many people with stuttering back from being able to do basic things like ordering dinner. “Anxiety and tension compound the problem, quickly creating a vicious cycle that destroyed the ability to speak” (Martin,2003). People in the community contribute to this as Martian says, “by non-stutters telling the stuttering people that they need to slow down or relax” (2003). One particular patient named Kevin Murphy, received treatment from doctors and speech pathologists that only offered temporary help. His true help came through his experiences off campus and support groups that let him know that he was okay where he was. He eventually began to allow people he was talking to know that he would have to take a bit longer to be understood.

According to a professor as the University of Pittsburg named, Yaruss, “if a child enters a speech therapy program before the age of 7, the condition can often be eliminated” (Miller ,2003). For Murphy, he still has his condition, but he is able to contribute to the community whereas, other people may have too much anxiety to even leave their home. Therefore, early intervention is a need in the community so that not only people with issues in stuttering can be helped but also people who struggle to form the correct sounds when presented in public.

Stuttering is just one issue in the speech language pathology field that is there is a need for people to be educated. More information about stuttering suggests that, “more than 3 million people in the united states—and 55 million around the world—wrestle with stuttering every day” (Sobel, 2001). The article called “Anatomy of A Stutter,” focuses on people who have a stuttering issue and the reactions from the people around them. For example, “When Salierno jumbled his speech as a child, his teachers thought he was mentally retarded” (Sobel, 2001).

This is not true because later in the article, it suggests that there are the smartest people in the world who can know a lot of information, but it could take them fifteen seconds to say “hello.” The article suggests that stuttering stems from emotional distress and there are still no cures but with the help of speech pathologists, the issue can be broken down. Stuttering is something that all people struggle with, the problem is when the message cannot be conveyed to the audience, that is when a speech pathologist should be available to help. This issue is a global issue in which people everywhere are in need.

Speech language pathology has a lot of different aspects about it besides the issue with stuttering. There are many issues that can be resolved form speech therapists. Speech therapists or speech language pathologists have to be dedicated to their career field. Speech pathologists cannot just go to school for four years and be done, they must go through a lot of schooling and practice. There are standards that must be met for people in the field.

“Standard I- Degree, Standard II- Education Program, Standard III Program of Study, Standard IV- Knowledge Outcomes, Standard V- Skills outcomes, Standard VI- Assessment, Standard VII- Speech-Language Pathology Clinical Fellowship, and Standard VIII- Maintenance of Certification” (9, Paul). The degree required to become a speech pathologist is a master’s degree or higher. It is possible to become a speech pathologist assistant with a bachelor’s degree. The education program one chose must be approved by the CCA. The Program of Study must be conducted with “36 credits at the graduate level with clinical experience” (9, Paul).

Knowledge outcomes of schooling include a knowledge of science, such as anatomy, biology, and a physical science. Aside from these, the student must also take courses within the field which highlight on “articulation, fluency, voice and resonance, expressive and receptive language, hearing, including the impact on speech and language, swallowing, cognitive aspects of communication, social aspects of communication, and argumentative and alternative communication modalities” (11, Paul).

With skill, they must be able to conduct screenings and diagnose patients. There is a big assessment through ASHA for the purposes of certification of Speech pathologists. Also, the clinical experience must be held in a school for one semester and another semester in a hospital, so the individual can receive both aspects of the field. Finally, Speech Pathologist will have to continue maintenance every three years to renew their certification which requires payments.

Many Universities have discovered ways in which people have been changed throughout the help of speech pathologists. At Missouri State there was a research done by students in the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Field with working with adults with Dementia. These researchers conducted their study through Service Learning which is, “a teaching pedagogy that provides students with educational and practical experience to gain further understanding of course content while serving those in need in the community.” (1, Kaf, Barboa, Fisher, and Snavely, 2011). Through this research they examined students who worked with patients with dementia.

The 24 speech pathologists and 14 audiologist students conducted social interactions and hearing evaluations through their work. It was mentioned that “because communication binds humans together communication intervention should be provided as much as possible for as long as possible for patients with dementia” (1, Kaf, Barboa, Fisher, and Snavely, 2011). The results after the activities conducted with the patients were that not only the patients became happier people but also the students working with the patients, seeing them smile and cheer up. Going into the study, according to the data, the pre-score was low, but coming out the post-score for audiology and speech pathology students was much higher. From this study both students were able to gain first-hand experience and know the people they work with on a much personal level.

In conclusion, Speech-Language Pathology is a career that not everyone may be equip for. It involves a lot of social integration skills as one may be working with patients from many different backgrounds and different ages. There are also many differ ways one can get involved with this field, there are opportunities to work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, rehab facilities, and even own a private practice. There are also so many disorders within the field including stuttering, swallowing, sentence structure, and how one may say certain letters.

As listed in the book of Clinical Methods in Communication Disorders, by Dr. Rhea Paul, to be a speech pathologist or audiologist, one must: “have a desire to help others, have strengths in social interactions, enjoyment of close contact with people, strong communication skills, the ability to enjoy ’just talking,’ an interest in the various process by which communication takes place and a level of comfort with people with disabilities” (2, Paul 2014). One in the field will need all of this because they will be working with a variety of people who may feel uncomfortable with themselves and speech pathologists must be respectful and happy to be with their patients, so the patients then have a motivation to better themselves.

Cite this paper

What is Speech Pathology?. (2021, Nov 18). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-is-speech-pathology/

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