Advantages of Becoming a Speech Pathology Professional

Speech pathology or speech language pathology is a medical field that focuses on identifying and treating various speech defects and disorders. Although it is a fairly new field, it is growing and many individuals are making it their career.

Speech pathologists or speech pathology professionals are licensed medical professionals who diagnose and treat various speech disorders that impede speech and communication. It is usually good to have a master’s degree and then obtain a license to practice. The licensing regulations vary from state to state. Speech pathologists can get jobs in medical organizations and schools.

If you are interested in speech pathology as a career option, there are few things you must know. This article talks about the advantages of becoming a speech pathology professional.

Here are four major advantages:

1. When getting into speech pathology as a professional, you will be following a flexible and stable career path. Some professionals work as general practitioners while others specialize in specific conditions and disorders.

Many find work in schools and hospitals helping treat childhood discrepancies in language and communication development. Autism and other related disorders have the greatest need for speech pathologists.

These pathologists also work with adults helping them regain normal speech after brain injuries, strokes, hearing loss, etc.

2. Generally speech pathologists work in collaboration with a medical team while diagnosing and treating disorders. Sometimes speech related disorders occur as a result of neurological causes, while other times they are associated with physical reasons. Defects arising from brain injuries and strokes occur because the brain signals that direct communication are affected. In such cases, pathologists collaborate with neurologists to come up with a proper treatment plan. Other medical professionals they may work with are physical and occupational therapists to treat physical injuries that affect the cognitive, physical, and speech functions.

3. Another advantage is that a speech pathologist earns a very good income. According to recent statistics, as of 2011, they earned an average annual salary of $66,000.

4. A speech pathologist’s job is very important. Speech and communication is a vital part of an individual’s life. It is what helps in building and maintaining professional and personal relationships. Helping a stroke patient regain his ability to speak and improving the communication skills of an autistic child brings joy and fulfilment to a speech pathologist, as his therapeutic work is critical to a person living a normal and happy life.

Becoming a pathologist you can get a job in various places. Most renowned hospitals have speech pathology as a special branch. You can also set up your own practice and work privately. Other places where speech pathology professionals are needed are universities, schools, colleges, and so on. Such services are only for the benefit of the students studying in those particular institutions. Hospices, nursing facilities, and geriatric facilities also employ the services of such professionals.

Hence, you can see that there are lots of options you can choose from if you decide to become a speech pathologist. This article can help you make the best decision for you.

Source by Greg Garner

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Daily Life Therapy (Higashi) for Autism

Daily Life Therapy (DLT) method also known as Higashi was developed in the 1960s by Dr. Kiyo Kitahara at the Musashino Higashi Gakuen School in Tokyo, Japan. She developed the method through what she learned from teaching a child with autism in a mainstream education kindergarten class. Her main objective was to develop self-esteem of the autism children and create emotional security for them.

Higashi is a Japanese word which means ‘hope’ and it is a holistic approach to integrate autism children with other normal children to study together in one group. There are a few methods used in this approach such as providing a systematic education by involving group dynamics, modelling, physical activities, art, music, academic, and vocational training.

How DLT (Higashi) works

Behavior management in DLT does not involve the measurement of neglect, punishment, time-out procedures or through medication. DLT is not to treat or to cure Autism Syndrome Disorder (ASD), but is believed to provide other important benefits such as improving the skill of ability, flexibility and function appropriately when they are with internal community and also activities involving family. Activities are group-oriented and highly structured with an emphasis on learning transmitted from child to child through synchronisation and imitation.

The Higashi approach emphasises group learning in the context of a programs which includes vigorous physical activity to develop both strength and concentration. Physical activity is one of the academic curriculum’s of children with autism and it is a challenge for their ability level as well as to increase their interest to engage in activities conducted. Practitioners believe that through exercise, children will be able to control the level of body coordination and at the same time control their behavior. Physical activities such as exercises and games have the positive impact on behavioral, psychological, and physical specifically in individual with ASD. DLT programs are normally using an appropriate instruction, equipment, and daily movement activities such as walking, running, climbing, and jumping to improve gross motor skills which allowing children with autism learn to acclimate to the stimulating world around them.

Among the main principles of Daily Life Therapy (Higashi) are as follows:

i. The focus of curriculum is on movement activities, music and arts.

ii. Children engage in vigorous physical activities throughout the day.

iii. Instructions are group oriented, example all children in the class are taught the same thing and at the same time.

iv. Children learn through imitation, for example they imitate exactly what their teacher do.

v. Routine activities are very highly structured.

DLT using the Higashi approach is an educational program for children with autism based on three interrelated principles: vigorous physical exercise, emotional stability and intellectual stimulation. By using these three core principles of DLT, children with autism learn to naturally focus their attention, diffuse their energy, feel calm and relaxed, and allowing them to learn without the need for medication. DLT also provides other important benefits such as improved coping skills, increased flexibility and improved appropriate functioning within the home community and family events. The ultimate goal of DLT is to archive lifelong inclusion in the community and high quality of life.

Source by Chandramogan Ramaiah

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The Benefits of Animal Therapy For Autism

For those of us who have had pets in our lives, it’s no great surprise to learn that interactions with animals can have therapeutic and healing benefits. Many animals soothe, comfort, and calm, just by their quiet presence. And animals are now also being used as a form of autism therapy.

A New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work graduate student named Jennifer Baról lead a research project to study the benefits and impact of animal-assisted therapies on children with autism when used as a treatment tool.

The study, entitled “The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on a Child with Autism” ran for 15 weeks between July and November of 2006. It was geared toward the goal of discovering whether or not there is any evidence that therapies based on animal-assistance would be able to improve an autistic child’s social skills.

The results of the study were interesting. For example, before undergoing the animal-assisted therapy with an eight-year-old Australian Cattle Dog named Henry, participant Zachary, who was five years old, experienced a dramatic struggle in order to communicate. Zachary was prone to throwing tantrums as well as covering his ears and eyes when he became frustrated with his lack of ability to be understood. Participation in new activities was stressful to him. He couldn’t understand how to play with others and had never before uttered a complete sentence.

However, once Zachary met and bonded with Henry, he went through a virtual transformation. His self-assurance level is much higher and he is willing to experience new activities with an obvious curiosity. Furthermore, Zachary is better able to understand what is going on around him, including the needs of others. Moreover, halfway through the therapy for the research project, Zachary completed his first sentence.

In the case of Zachary, a whole new world of experiences and understanding was opened up by the animal-assisted therapy. Within the mental hospital clinical reports, there have been many reports of autistic children who have built strong relationships with individual animals, such as pet dogs or cats. When autistic children play with animals, any violent tendencies they may have will typically disappear. They take on quite maternal characteristics, taking special care of the animal including feeding, cleaning up after them, and interacting with them.

The blood pressure of autistic children will also usually be lowered when experiencing an animal treatment. Furthermore, symptoms such as insomnia and headache can be eased with this treatment.

The companionship of animals can help reduce any lonely feelings in autistic children, promoting a base of healthy character development within them, including personality traits such as being respectful, trusting, contributing, committed, self-confident, and responsible. Autistic children can also learn decision-making skills, problem-solving skills, and both language and social skills through interactions with animals.

This kind of therapy can be beneficial overall, as well as in times of greater trial, such as puberty – when your child will go through many changes and have many questions and will be in need of greater stress relief.

Source by Rachel Evans

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