Speech-Language Pathology as a Career – What Does it Take?

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One out of every ten Canadians lives with a serious communication disorder. But they don’t have to go it alone. Speech-Language Pathologists are highly trained professionals who work with people of all ages to diagnose and treat a wide variety of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties.

Nine Canadian universities offer the specialized training required for a career in Speech-Language Pathologists at the Master’s level. Through studies in such areas as counseling, anatomy, linguistics and voice disorders, students acquire the knowledge and experience to help children and adults regain or develop successful communication.

If you like people, enjoy language and health sciences, as well as possess a pleasant, adaptable and patient demeanor, then a career in Speech-Language Pathologists could be for you! In addition to four years of undergraduate studies (centering on courses in psychology, physiology, linguistics, education and health sciences), a two-year Master’s level program with clinical practicum completes the training.

Today’s Speech-Language Pathologists find work in private practice, hospitals, schools, research centres, daycare centres and more.

The rewards of such a career are many; the opportunity to meet and help people is deeply satisfying, no two clients are ever the same and the privilege of walking alongside another individual – cheering them on to success – enriches the life and experience of the communication professional.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, we’re committed to our clients and make every effort to match them to clinicians to ensure rapport builds quickly. If you or someone you know would like more information about a career in Speech-Language Pathologists, or to book an assessment, call us.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. We can be reached by telephone at 905-637-5522 or online at www.slhunter.ca.

Building the Confidence of Those with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

– Dr. Seuss

It can start very early in life; as soon as a toddler realizes their voice has power, but they’re not being understood, their confidence can begin to disappear.

If an older child has been subject to teasing or taunting because of their speech or language abilities, their self-esteem may be marred and they may withdraw socially or refuse to participate in school.

Lack of confidence in one’s ability to communicate can prove to be isolating at any stage of life. If a person has articulation or language difficulties that prevent them from expressing themselves efficiently, they may refrain from engaging in conversation, except with those with whom they feel comfortable and by whom they can be understood.

Families and friends of those who struggle with speech or language disorders can help their loved ones feel more confident and secure by being patient, allowing plenty of time for the person to express them self and by being sensitive to situations in which the one struggling feels vulnerable. Parents should not permit siblings to tease a child who is experiencing such difficulty and should strive to establish an atmosphere of support and encouragement.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates we are here to help. Our Speech-Language Pathologists work hard to establish an excellent rapport their clients, so that the individual with the communication disorder feels supported and safe. In this relaxed, positive environment, children and adults are encouraged to express their concerns, set achievable goals, practice new skills and celebrate successes.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit us online at www.slhunter.ca.

 

Helping Your Child Cope with Stuttering

“One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can’t utter.”
– James Earl Jones (who suffered with a severe stutter as a child)

Stuttering. It’s not uncommon for children to experience moments or even stretches of time when they are less than completely fluent, repeating sounds, words, phrases or parts of words. Often, such experiences are minimal interruptions to the flow of daily conversation and living, which occur sporadically and naturally as a part of the child’s normal development.

As a parent, you’ll want to demonstrate an attitude of optimism and patience with your children. While it can be helpful for some children to be encouraged to “slow down” or “take your time” such suggestions may only frustrate others. A more helpful approach can be to slow your own speech, creating a more relaxed atmosphere and allowing sufficient pauses for your child to fully express himself.

For some children, stuttering or halting speech can become more pronounced, occur more frequently and last for longer periods of time. A child may have difficulty getting a sound out, may try to ‘push’ a sound, word or phrase out, or may seem frustrated at their inability to communicate. There are several things a parent can do to help, including:

• comment on what the child is saying rather than asking lots of questions, thus reducing the pressure on the child to communicate;
• focus more on what the child is saying, rather than on how they are saying it
• give your child your full attention when they speak to you, thus communicating your interest in what they have to say; and
• establish turn-taking during conversations, thus eliminating the pressure to rush through what they are trying to say.

No parent wants to see stuttering become a major issue in the life of a child. If you are concerned about your child’s ability to produce fluent speech, an assessment with a Speech-Language Pathologists can put your mind at rest and set your child on a path to greater fluency.

At S.L. Hunter & Associates, we have an entire team of highly skilled Speech-Language Pathologists who can assess and treat stuttering in people of all ages. Contact us to find out how we can help.

The offices of S.L. Hunter & Associates are located at 5195 Harvester Rd. Unit 4B. To make an appointment, call 905-637-5522 or visit us online at www.slhunter.ca.