Speech Therapists are those that help people of all ages who are suffering from language or speech disorders. They are trained to help those that cannot say certain sounds or words pronounce sounds and words correctly. When a speech or language disorder treatment is being treated, it will make it easier for others to understand them when they speak.
What a Speech Therapist can treat
To become a Speech Therapist in Singapore or Speech Language Pathologist, one must complete undergraduate course work in Communication Science and Disorders. It is also required they complete their Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. Once they have achieved a Master’s, they must then complete the Praxis Exam (similar to a Board Exam) and perform a Clinical Fellow Year to receive their Certificate of Clinical Competence. When the Speech Therapist has received their certificate, they can then evaluate and remedy many disorders and delays including:
- Articulation- difficulty in producing sounds correctly that may be due to frequent ear infections, genetics, hearing loss, or developmental disorders.
- Stuttering- a disruption in the production of speech sounds by either repeating words or preceding words with ‘um’ or ‘uh’.
- Auditory Processing Disorder- happens when a person’s brain does not recognize or interpret the sounds around them. A person does not recognize subtle differences between sounds in words.
- Dysphagia- is when a person has difficulty swallowing due to a problem with the throat or esophagus. A Speech Therapist can help a person with this disorder learn to swallow.
Other disorders they can treat are; cognitive impairments or delays, social language use or pragmatic disorders, expressive and receptive language impairments or delays, fluency, voice disorders, and oral motor and oral feeding issues.
How a Speech Therapist provides services
A Speech Therapist generally provides services on a weekly basis. Children can receive help through outpatient clinics, home-based services, or school-based services. A test is conducted to start services so the Therapist can detect exactly which speech disorder is affecting them. This helps the Therapist know what treatments will be needed.
Treatments for correcting speech problems is practice. The Therapist will devote time showing how to make proper sounds and demonstrate the sounds. They will then ask for the sounds to be copied. This process includes watching how the lips, mouth, and tongue work together to make the correct sound. Mirrors are a great tool for the use of seeing how one’s facial objects are working.
Treatment times depend on the severity of the disorder. Sometimes treatments will be scheduled once a week or even several times a week. This can last from a few weeks to a few years depending on the how serious the speech pattern is affected.