Speech-language therapy is one of the most diverse fields leading to many kinds of jobs which all result in a rewarding career. There are different possibilities open to speech-language therapists, from hospitals, clinics, schools, to private settings. There are a number of things that you'll need to know when working as a therapist that you will not learn in college, but on the job as you go. There are many challenges you will face in making the transition from student to therapist.
There is so much to be learned about differing communication styles, the process of language acquisition and development, phonetics, disabilities, and most important of all, strategies to help overcome those disabilities. Knowing, however, how to use what was learned is challenging; there is never one perfect situation. Obviously clinical, medical, private and school settings are all different, yet they are wonderful environments to learn various methods of helping to motivate others to succeed.
You might encounter a range of students or clients differing in abilities or disabilities. They might be deaf, dyslexic, mentally challenged, have Down’s syndrome, autism, or delayed language skills; they could be language-impaired, language-disabled, suffer from traumatic brain injury, memory loss, have had a stroke, cerebral palsy, and so on. They all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Moreover, learning to handle delicate situations with family members and other professionals requires f patience and tolerance. Not everyone will understand the point of view of a speech-language therapist, or always feel inclined to be cooperative. This can present additional problems, so advocating for the needs of our students or clients is vital. Speech-language therapy is one of the most important careers - enabling others to communicate more effectively - therefore doing it correctly is essential.
On the other hand, you may be a college student receiving speech-language therapy, which is additional support to enable you to become an independent learner. There could be a number of reasons for receiving speech therapy, none of which means there is anything wrong with you or your ability to learn. Everyone can use a little help and assistance in some area of their learning or homework. There are many strategies that can help you continue to make progress as a student, such as keeping a notebook for new vocabulary words, using a ruler when reading to keep your place, learning to use an agenda, and making flashcards of the information when studying.
The American Speech Language-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) offers useful information on various aspects of speech language therapy.
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