Speech Language Pathologist
Also popular as Speech therapists, they are actively involved in assessing, diagnosing, treating and helping in prevention of communication as well as swallowing issues and disorders in patients. These disorders related to swallowing, language and speech are a resultant of myriad range of causes that encompass hearing loss, brain injury, developmental delay, stroke, cleft palate, autism or Parkinsonâs disease.
What are the duties of a Speech and Language pathologist?
The chief duties of the speech and language pathologist are as under:
1. Conduct an evaluation of the levels of language, speech and swallowing difficulty of the patient.
2. Teach the patients ways in which they can work to better their voice and make different sounds.
3. Identify the various treatment options that are available.
4. Work towards helping the patients develop as well as strengthen their muscles that they employ in swallowing.
5. Counsel the families of the patient too on various coping skills related to the communication as well as swallowing disorder.
In a few cases, there are also some cognitive issues and social communication issues. The patient may not be able to speak clearly and may suffer from fluency and rhythm problems like stammering and stuttering. The speech therapists also will work with those people who cannot understand language, those people who are battling voice disorders and those people who have harsh voices and inappropriate pitch problems.
In addition to performing the above roles, they also have to take care of the administrative tasks and complete them and maintain accurate records. All the evaluations of the patients are recorded. Their diagnoses noted down and the treatment progress too recorded. Any improvement or worsening of the condition of the patients is noted down in the treatment plan.
A few speech and language pathologists are specialists in dealing with problems that are specific to certain age groups. A few others work on various treatment programs that may involve swallowing problems or specific communication problems which may result as a consequence of cleft palate or stroke.
Some speech therapists may work in medical facilities along with social workers, surgeons and physicians, psychologists and healthcare professionals. They may have their presence in schools too and work in association with the parents and other school personnel too. Their main aim is carry out individual programs that will suit the need of the patient or come up with group programs and offer counseling and various activities in the classroom.