Teaching Individuals with Speech Impairments

Individuals with speech impairments can struggle in life due to an inability to effectively communicate. Professionals specializing in teaching individuals with speech impairments apply skills and knowledge to help these individuals overcome communication disorders.

Is Teaching Individuals With Speech Impairments Right for Me?

Career Overview

Do you have a personal desire to help individuals who struggle with the ability to speak learn how to communicate well with others? Do you have the ability to give good instructions for difficult tasks and patience to see those tasks completed? If you answered 'yes' to these questions, you may be suited for a career teaching individuals with speech impairments.

Career Options

Career choices in this field also provide you with some options regarding the people you help and where you work to help them. If you prefer to work primarily with children and their families, you may opt to become a special education teacher or a speech therapist in a school. If you like a diverse clientele, you may seek to work in a hospital or other medical facility as a speech pathologist. You have several options for clientele and work environment in this field.

Employment Information

Teaching individuals with speech impairments is a high-demand field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), between 2012 and 2022, some jobs in this field will experience faster-than-average growth with solid earning potential (www.bls.gov). As of May 2012, a speech-language pathologist earned an average of $72,730 annually. With baby boomers continuing to age, neurological disorders that affect the speech and language, trauma and strokes are expected to continue to increase. In addition, modern medicine, science and technology are making it possible for more infants with disabilities to survive, thus increasing the need for speech pathologists in the future.

How Can I Become a Teacher of Individuals with Speech Impairments?

Education

People with training in teaching individuals with speech impairments primarily work in educational facilities or medical facilities. Those working in this field include special education teachers, speech-language pathologists and speech therapists.

Learning to teach individuals with speech impairments can start with a bachelor's degree in special education with a concentration in speech-language pathology. However, most positions in the field require a graduate degree such as a master's in speech pathology. Doctoral degrees and graduate certificates are also available.

Classes in these programs explain the process of identifying, evaluating and diagnosing speech impairments. Students learn the variety of forms these impairments can take, such as stuttering, difficulty with language syntax or improper voice pitch and volume. The classes then go on to detail methods for improving communication and expression in the impaired, including the use of augmentative or alternative communication (AAC).

Certification

In addition to appropriate degrees, individuals in these different occupations must have the appropriate certifications that also vary by state. You can pursue speech pathologist certifications and speech therapy certifications to meet this requirement.

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