Speech-language pathology is the study and treatment of people who have difficulties with their speech, language, and swallowing. These kinds of therapists; Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with people of all ages to diagnose and treat communication disorders and conditions.
Any of these conditions has to be adequately assessed and diagnosed by a healthcare professional. You can start your journey into recovery with your current provider or primary care physician. Please read on to understand more about these disorders and the career that might help people suffering.
What Is A Speech-Language Pathologist
Speech-language pathologists, also known as “speech therapists,” help patients with a wide range of physical and cognitive-communication disorders, including articulation, stuttering, word-finding, semantics, syntax, phonics, vocalization, and swallowing. Autism, stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, cleft palate, and psychological issues are some of the causes of these disorders.
SLPs are often part of a rehabilitation team that includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists, and psychologists.
SLPs work in a variety of educational and clinical settings, including:
- Doctor’s offices
- Preschools, K–12 schools*, and colleges/universities are all examples of educational institutions.
- Clinics for the wealthy
- Homes for the elderly
- Rehabilitation facilities
- Laboratories for research
Speech-language pathologists work with people of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly. They’ve been trained to assist clients with issues related to three major areas: speech, language, and related disorders.
SLPs assist clients with speech-related issues such as the ones listed below:
- Fluency: When speaking quickly, “fluency” refers to how sounds, syllables, words, and phrases flow together. Fluency disorders include cluttering (excessively rapid speech with an irregular rhythm) and stuttering (involuntary pauses and repetition of sounds).
- Voice problems include hoarseness, which is frequently caused by nodules or polyps on the vocal folds, and abnormal pitch.
- Articulation disorders include the substitution of one sound for another, slurring of speech, and indistinct speech.
Speech and Language Issues
Speech-language pathologists treat the following language disorders:
- Aphasia: Usually caused by a stroke or head trauma, aphasia is the inability to understand or produce language due to damage to specific areas of the brain.
- Language-based learning disabilities: These neurological differences impact skills like listening, reasoning, speaking, reading, and writing.
SLPs work with people who struggle to understand social cues and communication rules, such as turn-taking.
SLPs typically treat the following related disorders in collaboration with other healthcare team members, such as gastroenterologists and audiologists.
- Swallowing and feeding are also concerns addressed by SLPs. A swallowing disorder, also known as dysphagia, can have serious consequences such as poor nutrition and unhealthy weight loss, affecting children and adults.
- Hearing loss: SLPs work with people who are deaf or hard of hearing to help them develop lip-reading skills and other alternative forms of communication.
One of the credentials you can earn as a speech-language pathologist is the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, also known as the CCC-SLP.
This certification is available through the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and many states require it to work as a pathologist. There are many other benefits to receiving the certification. By earning your CCC-SLP certification, you will be seen as more credible to employers, have the flexibility to work almost anywhere, and continuously learn.
If you are interested in learning more about the three benefits that were previously mentioned, continue reading.
If you hold your CCC-SLP, you are sure to appear as if you are more credible to employers. This is especially true if you live in a state that does not require the certification for licensure, as you will be going above and beyond. Since you are more credible, you may have an advantage over those who have not earned their CCC-SLP.
The employer will have nothing to worry about as they will know that you will be reimbursed by Medicare, for instance, for the services that you provide. Often, these insurers only reimburse employees who hold these certifications, so you are credible to them as well.
Employees with this sense of professional credibility will likely hire you right away when they see that you have the skills that come with having this certification in place. They will want to work with you to offer you a position that fits within your specialty, whether in working with developmental delays or muscular dystrophy.
The possibilities in employment are almost limitless for you when you hold the CCC-SLP. You can even change the specific specialty that you want to work in, as this certification covers a general overview of all specialties within the greater field of speech pathology.
Mobility and Advancement
You can work almost anywhere as a speech-language pathologist if you have the CCC-SLP. States require the same certification when they do require it, so even if you are coming from a state that does not require it, you can feel confident that you can move with ease and be able to relocate as you please.
You do not have to worry about passing another exam or taking another class. Your license and certification will follow you wherever you want to move to, which is essential when you want to move due to a pay raise.
Many states will supplement their employees who decided to get the CCC-SLP, and some school districts will even put on a bonus to your salary. This is essential when you are looking to move, and it is a great reason to move if you are looking to advance your career. You can even eventually train others who have just received their certification in speech-language pathology due to the expertise you develop. Again, this certification opens so many doors that you may never think were possible to accomplish in this career field.
As a speech-language pathologist, just as with anyone who works in the medical field, there are always changes that come about. These changes range from billing and electronic health records to changes in treatment methods for various vocal cord and communication disorders.
Even new diseases that are being found cause these speech-language delays or difficulties requiring a pathologist for treatment. Patients may even present themselves with a different set of problems you were unsure about before obtaining your certification within the field.
When you get your CCC-SLP certification, you have the opportunity always to be one of the first to know. The newest advancements and news will be easier to interpret. New opportunities always await you who hold information concerning new learning opportunities. As a speech therapist, you can use the latest treatment methods on your patients.
You even have access to research articles that you can learn from. You can grow from recent research articles and be the one that has the most recent information. Finally, you can even work within a network of people to ask questions. Your new network has undergone the same certification process. They can help and offer advice.
The CCC-SLP is the certification that is required nearly everywhere for speech-language pathologists. Even if it is not required where you are located, it has many benefits to you. It can help you secure jobs, give you pay raises, and can even offer you learning opportunities in the future.
By earning your CC-SLP, you would benefit financially. You would also have the satisfaction of making a difference by helping others.