Speech therapists are health practitioners who have studied speech pathology to help people with speech and language disorders. More often than not, you will find speech therapists treating children because speech and language disorders require early intervention. Children learn and retain language at a very young age, so when speech problems occur, they must be treated as soon as possible. Speech problems involve genetic problems like children with autism or environmental exposure to too many languages. Some would involve themselves in hospice care for children. Training is quite involved because you will be assigned in many different settings.
- Educational background. To be able to train as a speech therapist, you must have the necessary course or an official background in speech pathology. If you are not satisfied with your learning, you can take extra studies or a post-graduate degree. Some evaluators may even require you to have courses in counseling and psychology to be able to fully understand and care for your patients.
- Seminars. As much as you have the proper education, seminars are also beneficial in being able to contribute to your training. Aside from this, you should also be capable of facilitating or speaking at seminars. Sharing what you know as a speech pathologist is also part of this career. Innovations and new approaches in speech therapy must be discovered and shared. Observations, research and trials must all be shared and discussed in the community to further improve the quality of service this profession supports. Being aware of what’s going on in your profession can help you gain insight on your own clients.
- Activities. You must be aware of yourself and how you deal with other people. Knowing about the self is the most important factor, so you can know how to work with other people. You will most likely be working with different kinds of people, so you will have to understand different temperaments. Speech therapy training has different games to build your own ties with others, and at the same time, these are games you can use for your clients.
- Materials. There are different materials that you will need for client treatment. During your training, you will be familiarized with these. Sometimes though, during your practice, you will realize that some materials will be up to your imagination. Just make sure that you are still moving through the rules and regulations of the profession. These materials involve reading books and other samples that would prove useful for future reference as the case progresses.
There are actually different kinds of jobs you can enter as a speech therapist. This includes being part of the pediatric staff at a hospital, adult therapy, or the hospice care unit. Your trainings will be rigid and quite wide to prepare you for any type of situation or job that you could be in. It requires training to be patient and perceptive to changes in behavior and the kind of learning style your client has. It takes time to actually know all these things, and just the training cannot make you into the perfect speech therapist, but be sure to learn all you can and keep the basics in mind as you make your own steps forward.