Speech therapy, also called speech pathology, is a medical discipline that studies and treat speech and communication disorders. Speech pathologists are medical professionals who diagnosis, treat, and guide patients with speech disorders. They use diagnostic procedures and tests to help them determine the cause of a particular disorder and to recommend a course of treatment. They are also involved in the process of speech therapy used to teach patients the skills they need for communication and other normal activities. Speech pathology specialists can treat disorders of the voice, speech, language, oral motor skills, and breathing. Visit www.njspeechpathologist.com for more information.
The first step in diagnosing a child with an autism spectrum disorder, is to do a thorough physical exam. The child’s ears should be clean and any tumors or enlarged veins in the ear area should be reported to the speech pathologist. Next, an auditory examination should be done and the child’s hearing ability checked. If your child has been diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder, then an audiologist will probably be called in to perform a series of tests to determine the severity of the problem and to decide on the treatment plan.
A speech-language therapist (SLT) is the primary provider of speech therapy. He or she will develop a personalized treatment plan for your child. In most cases, a SLT will refer you to a hearing specialist if there are problems with speech. After the initial referral, the SLT may continue to work with your family until your child is completely treated.
An online master’s degree program in speech pathology can help you become an SLT. This program will provide you with the knowledge, training and certification to start your own private practice. You will have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of speech therapy.
Most speech therapists will also want to take additional education after becoming a speech therapist. You can complete either a Master’s degree or a PhD in speech therapy and fluency. Both these types of degrees will provide you with highly advanced career skills and will prepare you to enter a wide variety of settings, including colleges and universities, as well as private practice. It is possible to obtain both a Master’s degree and a PhD in speech pathology from most accredited universities or colleges.
Some speech therapists choose to continue their education by pursuing a Doctor of Education degree. Those who choose this path can focus on one specific area of speech therapy. For example, those with swallowing disorders can choose to specialize in teaching those with hoarseness or those with vocal chord difficulties. The coursework for this degree will include teaching the physical body language that each of these groups need to know in order to effectively communicate with each other.