Choosing Between Speech Pathology Or Occupational Therapy As a Career

Speech Pathology and Occupational Therapy are rewarding and challenging careers that involve helping people with a limiting physical condition. Both careers focus on helping people overcome life challenges so they can adjust and live a productive life.

When considering a career in either speech pathology or occupational therapy, most people will make a choice based on their own personal goals and desires. Speech language pathology is the evaluation and treatment of speech and language disorders. Speech pathologists help individuals who have physical disabilities associated with speech such as difficulty in pronouncing words, hearing impairments, voice disorders, cognitive communication impairments, memory and problem solving disorders, and swallowing difficulties.  A speech therapist will work with people who have difficulty speaking, forming words or sounds, or who are recuperating from an injury or illness that has affected their ability to speak. Speech disorders can result from a number of conditions such as delayed development, a genetic disorder, an accident, or a medical condition such as a stroke. Although they are involved with helping adults, many speech pathologists tend to focus on children because early childhood is an important time for speech and language development. Those who want to specialize in helping children will often choose speech pathology as a career.

Many people choose speech pathology due to a number of specialized areas one can pursue. These areas can include disorders in fluency, neurogenic speech and language, language development, articulation, alternative communication, and swallowing. They employ a wide variety of assessment plans, diagnostic techniques, and treatment procedures. For those interested in research and development, speech language pathologists can specialize in seeking an understanding of the causes of a speech disorder and develop effective methods for evaluation and treatment of the condition.

One will often choose a career as an Occupational Therapist because they have a genuine interest in enabling people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapy is a career that focuses on activities regarding daily living. Their job is to help people with impairments to adapt and function in everyday life activities.  They help individuals with developmental, emotional, physical, and mental disabilities. The goal is to improve functioning and wellness. Functioning tasks can include such actions as meal preparation, showering and dressing, managing money, and implementing their daily routine. They will also help them function better in the workplace. Areas focused on include memory, cognition and perception and motor skills.

Occupational therapists assist patients with achieving their set goals by improving their ability to participate in daily routines, modifying the environment to help them function better, and adapting an activity to better support their needs. They work with individuals, children, families, groups and the community to facilitate health and well-being by establishing or re-establishing their previous occupation. As well, Occupational Therapists are becoming increasingly more involved in tackling the impact of social and environmental factors that affect a person’s ability to return to their previous occupation.  

Occupational Therapists focus helping patients return to their previous occupation, while speech pathology focuses on the specific area of communication disorders. Both professions are in great demand and provide a valuable service to the community and health profession. Whichever one you pick, you are sure to have a rewarding career.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Speech Therapy

Sometimes a child is unable to understand and express language or troubles in pronouncing words which may deprive in language development and communication skills. There are many kinds of speech defects due to different problems. But the most common problem spotted among children has delayed speech and language development. Speech defects can also be caused due to a severe injury or some medical condition. Speech therapy is a process to improve child’s ability to understand the language using different methods and techniques for enhancing the language development and communication skills. Speech therapy often includes two common techniques for enhancing the language development.

1) Verbal Technique:

In this technique, coordinating the mouth to produce sounds to form words and sentences. This technique is to regulate the volume and fluency of child. Understanding the alphabets and its uses for word and sentence formation is very necessary. The verbal technique can help in understanding the basics of the language. With the help of little effort from both the therapist as well as the child, language can be interpreted conveniently.

2) Understanding and Expressing Technique:

In this technique, the child is trained to address the language through written sign and pictorial forms. There are interactive software’s with the latest technology and great user interface mainly developed for speech therapy sessions. This fun software creates a playful environment for the children and also enhances the learning experience.

Three major benefits of speech therapy:

1) Positive attitude towards vocal communication:

With the help of latest technology and methods, the child can learn the use of language for communication very easily and effectively. With the help of regular speech therapy sessions, the child can develop normal speech habits with the friends or family resulting in a positive attitude towards vocal communication.

2) Elimination of child’s fear of stammering:

Slowly and gradually with the help of regular speech therapy sessions, the child can also be taught to be confident and motivated at the same time. There are certain speech therapy games for the children which can also help in gaining confidence. The raised confidence will eventually help in eliminating the child’s fear and stammering problems. Moreover, the experienced therapists constantly work in removing child’s fear of stammering.

3) Developing good fluency:

Increased confidence can lead the child in many positive ways. The final stage of language development is fluency which can be achieved by regular practice. Children can learn words, gestures, and expressions while practicing the language and achieve perfection with respect to time and effort. With the same practice, the children can even fluency. Moreover, the expert therapists constantly motivate the child and increase their enthusiasm with respect to the language and communication skills.

Conclusion:

There are many children who face speech defects and each one of them can be treated with right steps and correct guiding. Speech therapy is useful and effective at the same time. Moreover, it helps in building confidence, stability, and precision amongst the children. With the help of an experienced therapist and latest software, the child can overcome the speech defect quickly and easily.

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