A speech language pathologist is also called a speech therapist. They are familiar fixtures at hospitals and clinics. Their job is to help diagnose and establish a treatment plan for people who cannot produce speech or have some sort of language disorder that stymies their efforts to communicate.
These professionals work in research, they teach and you’ll find them in a variety of healthcare settings. But most people don’t realize you can also find speech language pathologists in our nation’s schools, helping children with social and cognitive communication.
The Value of Speech Pathologists and Their Work With Children
Our educational system is completely designed around the concept that, in order to be a fully functioning member of a society as an adult, children must be given the right tools to succeed. Speech pathologists help children communicate, which is one of the most crucial skills they can learn in their formative years.
Children who lack the ability to communicate completely, or struggle with articulation may perform poorly in school. They may struggle to understand lessons because they lack the ability to ask questions to help them succeed. These children may be perceived as unintelligent, when in fact they simply can’t share their thoughts.
But we know that heading off these communication challenges before the child becomes an adult, can absolutely change the course of their lives in a positive way. Improved communication can positively impact both speaking, writing and learning, but also self-esteem for a child that is struggling. These are all good reasons why it’s important for schools to have speech pathologists available to work with children.
A speech pathologist can work to:
- Evaluate students to determine the extent of the problem, such as fluency disorders and sound delays, which can affect the student’s ability to participate in the standard general education curriculum.
- Help children within the autism spectrum change their communication style to fit different situations while improving their communication skills, so they are less frustrated by these challenges.
- Consult and collaborate with teachers, doctors, parents and more to improve the lives of the children they treat.
- Improve voice and speech impairments such as stuttering or articulation.
- Help the hearing impaired and children with cleft palate, cerebral palsy or other disorders articulate more clearly.
- Develop IEPs, or Individual Education Plans, that both identify the problem and create a regular series of steps to correct the problem as part of the student’s goal.
A speech therapist does this work by identifying at-risk children, and then working one-on-one to improve their communication skills. The speech therapist has a variety of tools to both identify problems, and create and implement treatment plans to help children improve communication skills. They can also work with the teaching and administrative staff to create new policies to help these children.
A speech language pathologist plays an important role in preventing communication disorders while identifying at-risk students and correcting these problems proactively. They are the unseen and sometimes undervalued clinical professionals in our nation’s schools dedicated to helping all children succeed. To learn more, contact Therapia Staffing today.