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Who is a Speech & Language Pathologist?

Speech-language pathologists, also called SLPs, are healthcare professionals. They are the experts in communication who assess, diagnose and treat communication disorders and swallowing problems. 

SLPs work with people of all ages, from babies to adults and elders. SLPs treat many types of speech, language, communication and swallowing problems.

These include problems with clarity of Speech, Delayed speech and language development, Expressive language delay, Stuttering, Voice problems, Sound specific articulation disorders, Auditory rehabilitation, Feeding and swallowing disorders, Social communication skills, Apraxia of speech, Neuro rehabilitation, Augmentative and Alternative communication and literacy.


They are certified by Govt. bodies like Rehabilitation council of India (RCI), Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHA). To be an SLP they complete their graduation, masters or PhD in this field. Many SLPs have specific certification in certain areas of their practice like Swallowing, Feeding, Speech and hearing, Auditory verbal therapy, Cochlear implants rehabilitation, Play, Autism, Oral placement, Parental counselling and training. Extra training makes them more efficient to work in their vast area of practice.

 

Where can I find a Speech and language pathologist?

1 Private clinics

2 Hospitals

3 Research Institutes

4 Special schools

5 Rehabilitation centers

6 Colleges and universities



 

What to look for in a Good SLP?

Knowing that there is someone to help you is relieving, but there are certain qualities you should look in a good SLP. Because their job is very important for you and your loved ones.


1 Creative and Motivating


SLPs go creative when it comes to plan a session. They plan their sessions to keep your child engaged by providing variety of activities and games that matches with the child’s interest and age. You need to provide them information about your child’s daily routine, habits, interests, type of play, choice of toys, food habits and favorite games. They find a way to keep the child motivated and engaged during the sessions. They know so many activities and play which they use in their sessions. But to plan for a specific client, they always work on the basics like building a rapport with the patient so they know their patient better.


2 Updated on current therapy techniques and strategies


They stay updated on current techniques and strategies in their field. They identify their own learning needs and seek new learning opportunities on an ongoing basis.

To do so they attend conferences, seminars, webinars and trainings. They use the most updated resources to keep their skills and knowledge current. Learning is something that happens to SLPs every day. There is always something new to learn. And with new patients come new learning experiences. Speech difficulties can’t be solved in one session. In fact, speech-language pathologists won’t know an “end” date to working with their clients because everyone progresses at different rates. Your SLP should take the knowledge gathered and find a way to turn it into success in the therapy.


3 Great listening skills


With all the skills and techniques, a Good SLP should be a great listener too. They listen to the problems and provide solutions and sometimes referrals when needed. Listening creates trust between the therapist and the parent. They provide good inputs after listening to you. And suggest ways to help you and your loved once.


4 Goal and result oriented


An ideal SLP should know what they are doing and why? Every session cannot be a success always but SLPs should be clear about their final goals and results. SLPs discuss the treatment plan and provide homework when needed. They provide evidence-based practice which help them in focusing on their goals and it gives clarity in their practice. They should also make sure that the clients are well informed about their progress journey process. SLPs evaluate their own performance independently and make changes as needed. Successful speech-language pathologists don’t just focus on speech exercises but also on how any speech difficulties may impact their patients. And they plan and help their clients in all the affected areas.


5 Team Play


Speech-language pathology is a very vast field and with so many different diagnoses, therapies, speech devices, and more, it’s vital that your speech pathologist is open to collaborate with other professionals when needed. And they discuss the plan and progress with school teachers and other healthcare professionals also when needed. A high-performing speech-language pathologist should be able to communicate clearly with a variety of individuals. This applies not only to their patients but also to family members, caretakers, hospitals and other professionals. 


6 Energetic


SLPs enjoy working with people and display genuine compassion and empathy. A good SLP possess honesty, integrity, and a willingness to uphold the ethical standards of the profession. They work for the rehabilitation of their clients which require a lot of energy. They need to have physical stamina to meet the demands of the work day. They manage their time well as it takes a lot of their time to plan and come out with new ideas.

 

SLPs not just work clinically they also work on awareness about the communication disorders. They educate people for better communication skills and language development in case of kids and babies.


For more information contact us – Better Speech & Hearing Clinic, HSR Layout, Bangalore.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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