Speech and Language Therapy Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update


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What is Speech and Language Therapy?

Speech and Language Therapy is the life-changing treatment, support, and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking, or swallowing. Speech and language therapists assess, diagnose and treat people who have speech, language, and communication problems. They aim to help people communicate to the best of their ability.

Speech and Language Therapists will help people who have problems speaking and communicating due to physical or psychological reasons.

Speech and Language Therapists will work directly with patients, their families, and other education professionals to develop personalized strategies to support the patient’s individual needs. They can also provide Speech and Language Therapy training to education professionals so they can identify the signs of speech, language, and communication needs from an early age and support them appropriately.

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering Speech and Language Therapy courses in the following subject areas:

  • Speech & Language Therapy – The study of Speech and Language therapy, communication styles, and codes to speech and therapy practice.
  • Understanding Speech and Language Difficulties – Develop a strong knowledge-based insight into how speech, language, and communication are developed.
  • Occupational Therapy Studies – Gain an understanding of the principles and practices of rehabilitation, treatment of injured, ill or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.

Studying Speech and Language Therapy in college

There are many Speech and Language Therapy courses that take place over 1 year to 4 years depending on the course and modules selected. There are also part-time courses and night courses available so you can be sure to fit in your studies no matter what your schedule is like.

Courses will cover all theory work through lectures, assignments, tutorials, and taught modules. Assessments will take place continuously with written examinations and practical assignments combined to achieve a qualification. You could also consider work experience or volunteering to help as speech and language assistants, clinical support workers, or assistant practitioners.

Work Experience will not only allow you to obtain a deeper knowledge and understanding of the industry by working under the direction of qualified therapists but you may be able to conduct routine work with clients on a one-to-one basis, help in group therapy sessions, prepare rooms, and equipment, look after the equipment, receive clients and give them any necessary personal help.

Work Experience and volunteer work will also give you a chance to do some essential networking with other industry professionals and gain valuable contacts for the future.

Career options

After completing a course in Speech and Language Therapy you will be able to get started in a career that uses specific knowledge of communication and therapy skills.

There is a shortage of registered speech and language therapists so demand is high. Some local traveling is usually required, so a driving license is useful. Working hours will depend on whether you are employed by a facility with set business hours or if you are contracted to  various facilities or companies. Speech and language therapists generally work 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Part-time work and job share are both common.

Medical speech-language pathologists typically work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation facilities. They typically work 40 hours per week during normal business hours. Others work within education services or charities. A few work independently and treat patients privately.

Therapists may deliver therapy on a one-to-one basis or in groups. They liaise with a wide range of other professionals from the health, education, and social care sectors, including doctors, teachers, physiotherapists, dieticians, psychologists, and health visitors. They may have support from a speech and language therapy assistant.

Work locations for speech and language therapists are varied. They include community health centers, hospital wards and outpatients’ departments, schools, day centers, prisons, young offenders’ institutions, and client’s homes.

Related jobs include:

  • Audiologist
  • Drama Therapist
  • Music Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Play Therapist
  • Special Educational Needs Teacher

Further study

After completing a course in Speech and Language Therapy you may choose to pursue further study in a specialist field to increase your knowledge base and skillset. Postgraduate study can also be used as a means to change career focus or to gain professional qualifications required to practice in certain career areas such as Occupational Therapy or Special Needs Education.

FAQ

What is the difference between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist?

In the past, the term “speech pathologist”, “speech-language pathologist” or “SLP” are used by professionals to describe themselves, but the term most commonly used today is “speech therapists”.

What are some of the causes of communication difficulties?

Speech and language therapists assess and treat people who have difficulty with making the ‘sounds of speech’ and with those who find it difficult to use or understand language. They may also work with people who have eat, chewing, and swallowing problems.

These difficulties may be due to:

· Learning disabilities.

· Physical disabilities.

· Mental health problems.

· Medical conditions, such as a stroke.

· Conditions that can lead to loss of functions, such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or dementia.

· Mouth or throat cancer.

· Head injuries.

· Hearing loss and deafness.

· A cleft palate.

Where can I study Speech and Language Therapy?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

· Human speech predates written language by tens of thousands of years. No one knows exactly how old spoken language is.

· John Moschitta Jr. was the world’s fastest talker for decades. Famous for his appearance on Micro Machines commercials, he could say 583 words a minute and form syllables five times faster than average speakers

· Talking requires the use of dozens of muscles in the lips, throat, and tongue, but speaking in a normal tone is no more tiring than sitting in silence.

· Approximately 50 million people worldwide suffer from stuttering, an involuntary repetition of sounds that impedes speech.

· Physical muteness is the inability to speak, and it can be caused by many underlying conditions, such as damage to the throat or vocal cords, neurologic conditions, or degenerative diseases. It is extremely rare for people to be born mute.


Mariza Halliday

Clinical Speech and Language Studies
Translation Studies Courses


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