Speech Therapy: What You Need to Know

It’s amazing how far medicine has gone from its humble beginnings in the stone-age era to modern medicine in the 1600s. Today, almost everything can be diagnosed with a few tests and treated with medicines. The industry has grown to have a specific department for every specific medical need. For those with brain-related illnesses, a neurologist is there to help; for heart problems, a cardiologist can help cure diseases; for bone issues, an orthopaedic doctor is available; and even for speech impediments, a speech pathologist can help solve the concern.

Speech therapy has grown to be an important sector in the medical industry. According to the Australian government’s Job Outlook website, a speech therapist, or also known as a speech pathologist, help in the diagnosis and rehabilitation of people with hearing defects and communication disorders. These professionals also work with people who have problems with eating and swallowing that could be associated with physical defects.

The site noted that a speech pathologist’s tasks may include:

  • Administers audiometric tests and interprets results to determine the hearing efficiency of the patient, as well as locating the sites of detected hearing problems
  • Interprets audiometric test results,as well as medical, social and behavioural diagnostic data
  • Evaluates acoustic tests and total response pattern to distinguish between organic and non-organic hearing loss
  • Plans, directs and participates in counselling, speech reading and other rehabilitation programs
  • Prescribes appropriate hearing aids to patients
  • Administers tests to determine nature and extent of disorders
  • Plans and conducts remedial programs to help correct communication disorders including stuttering and abnormal articulation
  • Hosts rehabilitation therapy for patients with communication problems caused by defective hearing, cerebral palsy, surgery and injury
  • Advises treatment for children with difficulties in learning to speak
  • Counsels language-handicapped individuals, their families, teachers and employers

Employment Growth and Salary Rate

Employment in this occupation is relatively small, with only 7,100 speech therapists recorded in November 2012. According to the government’s published outlook of the profession, the growth of job openings for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists is low over the next four years (until November 2017). The study expects job openings to grow only when the number of employees increase or when people leave the…

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