"I bet I could find an app to do the same thing"...
"speech therapists are just teachers who took a few extra classes"...
"maybe I can find a speech student to do therapy on the side for cheap"...
Now before any Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) reading this goes ballistic... let me just say a big, hearty "NO" to all of the above.
No, there is NOT an app for that. It's a bummer... I know. I mean there's an app that tells you the best times to duck out of the movie theatre to relieve yourself so you don't miss any impending plot twists. (seriously, this could have saved me some confusion during The Sixth Sense... stupid 42 oz. guzzlers!) But, there is still no app that can diagnose or treat speech, language or swallowing disorders.
"But my daughter only has trouble with the "R" sound... that should be easy, right?"
Well, that all depends... is her speech problem due to muscle weakness, hearing loss, neurological deficits, physical impairments, phonological vs. articulation disorder, oral-motor deficiencies, or developmental issues? Not sure? Well, a certified, trained SLP can help you figure that out!
IT'S WHAT WE DO!
Yes, we have specialized evaluations and assessment procedures that help differentially diagnose an abundance of speech and language issues, that only SLPs are qualified to administer. (Not to mention that there are actually over 20 types of "R" sounds!... but, that's a post for another day.)
Now I could spend, yet another, entire post on the abundance of effective, evidence-based therapy approaches for each of these disorders. (Don't worry... I won't) If you're interested in knowing more about that, then I recommend grad school for 3 years of course work (anatomy, physiology, neurology, audiology are just a few of the "-ologies" in our wheelhouse). complete 400 supervised clinical hours, then an additional 1260 hours of supervised therapy during your Clinical Fellowship Year (CFY)... which is just the beginning of what you need to be a licensed/certified SLP.
That brings me to my next point....
"Can't I just find a student to do therapy for cheap?" Well.... yes and no. If you are lucky enough to live near a university that has an on-site clinic, then yes! Please go there! That is how grad students get their feet wet in the world of direct therapy and receive supervision from master clinicians.
But, if you're just looking for "cheap" therapy, as with any professional service, you will often get what you pay for. Yes, a SLP with years of experience will cost more, but keep this in mind... a highly qualified SLP will likely help your child reach his/her speech or language goals sooner, which could actually save you money in the long run!
My hope is that I've extolled the virtues of licensed/certified SLPs. If you need help finding one near you, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association can help.
And as always... if you found this post helpful, please leave a comment below!
9/4/2020 08:39:39 am
That's good to know that a speech pathologist would be able to determine the cause of the speech issue. I have a friend with a child who has been having some speech problems, so that's good to know. I'll have to recommend that they look into a speech pathologist to help them out so their child could speak correctly.
2/9/2021 12:12:09 am
"Pediatric Speech and Language therapy is the treatment for specialized kids facing language and speech disorder.
5/21/2021 11:18:19 am
I liked that you mentioned that there is no app that can rival a speech pathologist My son has trouble with some consonant sounds. I would love to take him to a speech pathologist to help him talk better.
2/22/2023 04:26:53 am
It's great that you elaborated that implementing evaluations could help with the proper learning options for students. A couple of days ago, my cousin informed me that she was looking for a speech therapist to help my nephew with his communication abilities and skills. She asked if I had any advice. I like this instructive speech article. I'll tell her we can consult a trusted speech therapist as they can help us provide information about the learning process.
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