Speech Therapy, or Speech Language Pathology, as it is known in the medical field, is an allied health care profession with the major objective of the accurate diagnosis and carefully planned treatment of various speech disorders such as stammering problems, voice disorders, fluency disorders and similar other problems. There are several causes involved in speech disorders and some of these causes are various neurological disorders such as stroke, dementia and Parkinson’s disease, psychiatric and mental disorders, head injuries and face injuries, cleft palate and voice pathology.
An academically qualified person in speech therapy or speech language pathology is called a speech therapist or a speech language pathologist. They are mainly employed in hospitals and clinics, private nursing homes, academic institutions such as schools, colleges and universities, rehabilitation centres, community health centres and research organizations. Major career profiles available for trained professionals are as speech therapists, language therapists, speech-language pathologists and speech therapy assistants.
Career aspirants are expected to have at least a master’s degree in speech-language pathology or speech therapy. It is a two-year postgraduate qualification with a specially designed course curriculum which includes courses such as human anatomy, physiology, types of speech disorders, specific nature of various speech disorders, and important principles of acoustics. After the completion of the course, candidates are trained under the expert guidance of a professional speech language pathologist for a year before applying for a registration from the authorized agencies to practice as a certified speech therapist.
Many medical institutes and general universities across the world offer post graduate and doctoral level programmes in speech-language pathology. Interested candidates can directly apply to the University of their Choice for getting an admission. This career is best suited for the candidates who have a genuine interest to help people with speech disorders. Candidates must have extra ordinary patience and genuine love for the people as speech disorder treatment is such a field which requires personality attributes such as patience and empathy.