What Constitutes a Good Speech Pathologist in a School?

by Naomi Millburn

A career as a speech pathologist requires an extensive background in the field of communication. Speech pathologists help analyze and manage difficulties in speech in people, whether they pertain to problems producing certain sounds, issues with vocal tone, swallowing, stammering or related issues. Speech pathologists often work in school settings assisting pupils in speech therapy.

Assessment of Student Speech

A good speech pathologist working at a school needs to have a strong grasp of speech development and how it pertains to individuals from birth into adulthood. He needs to be able to interact efficiently with students of all ages to figure out the cause of any speech troubles. Many different things can lead to speech troubles, including medical conditions, such as reduced hearing. A good speech pathologist also needs to be able to figure out the severity of any issues through examinations in talking and reading. Importantly, he has to possess the knowledge to be able to come up with appropriate management techniques for students with speech problems, and to decide how to work them into the rest of the pupil's education plans.

Stopping Speech Troubles Early

Strong speech pathologists also need an awareness of how to stop speech disorders in juveniles before they start. Being a speech pathologist involves understanding what factors could potentially lead to problems with language down the line, and getting an early start on taking care of them. He needs to know what components frequently contribute to speaking problems in individuals from birth to roughly 21 years of age. Many different things can contribute to speech problems in children, including insufficient experiences in hearing people talking and troubles deciphering sounds in spoken words. The latter situation is often referred to as "auditory processing disorder."

Social Skills

Thriving as a speech pathologist in a school goes beyond knowing the ins and outs of speaking distinctively and comprehensibly. It also calls for possessing sharp social skills. Working as a speech pathologist calls for extensive one-on-one communication not only with fellow staff, but with students and their parents or guardians. Since many students are under the age of 21, it's imperative for speech therapists in schools to understand how to effectively communicate with children and young adults alike. Being a good team player is a school speech therapist must. Not only is it vital for them to interact closely with others, it's also vital for them to work out answers for pressing issues alongside others. Empathetic people who have a passion for aiding others are generally suited for careers in speech-language pathology.

Organizational Strengths

Extensive technical knowledge and interactive skills aren't all that successful speech pathologists in schools need. They also need to be experts in organization. If you work as a speech therapist in a school, you're in charge of overseeing at least dozens of students on their journeys to improving their speech. Because of that, you have to be able to maintain meticulous files that detail everything from the potential causes of their difficulties to how much improvement you've noticed in the past few months. Effective speech pathologists can't be scatterbrained or restless personalities. While the career can be extremely enriching, results often appear very gradually.

Photo Credits

  • Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images