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Discover everything a speech therapist can do

marzo 31, 2021

The Col·legi de Logopedes de Catalunya (CLC) launches a communication campaign in which it seeks to broaden the vision of this profession through real cases

Did you know that from speech therapy can treat babies who were born deaf? And that speech therapy treatment is closely linked to the functioning of the brain? Did you know that speech therapists can help people who have had a stroke to communicate again?

To broaden the vision that society has about the work of the speech therapist profession, the Col·legi de Logopedes de Catalunya (CLC) has launched a communication campaign under the motto of A speech therapist fa molt more than you think (A speech therapist does more than you think), with which it also celebrates its 20 years of existence.

“We had some evidence that the profession was not sufficiently known in society and we decided to carry out a study to corroborate it. 500 people from the age of 16 participated, answering a questionnaire about their knowledge of the profession “, indicates Mireia Sala, dean of CLC, in an interview for Educaweb.

The results of this study revealed that, indeed, speech therapy is little known among citizens, so the Governing Board of the Col·legi de Logopedes de Catalunya concluded that it was urgent launch a communication campaign didactic and informative.

And it is that little is known that the speech therapist can help a child who does not look into the eyes, a person who when he eats passes food to the lung, someone who cannot speak after a stroke, to a teacher who ends the week without a voice, to a 3-year-old who still says very few words, an adolescent who does not understand the statements of the problems, a large person who has lost his hearing or someone with tongue cancer …

Speech therapy is a very young health profession, regulated by Law 44/2003, of November 21, on the organization of the health professions. The professionals who are dedicated to it develop activities for the prevention, evaluation and treatment of disorders of communication, language, speech, hearing, voice and non-verbal oral functions (such as swallowing or sucking) in people of all ages, from neonates to old age, depending on Sala and Núria Argelich, Dean and Treasurer of the CLC, respectively.

The communication campaign is aimed at the general population, “emphasizing families with young children who may have some difficulty, in those people who may have a family member in charge and also in the potential future students who may be attracted to this profession and enroll in the Degree “, says Argelich, who also responsible for this initiative.

Real cases in which speech therapy has been able to help

As part of the campaign, launched in digital media, the CLC has had the volunteer patient participation that explain, through videos or advertisements published on the association’s website and social networks, how speech therapy has been able to help them get ahead.

“What we have prioritized in the campaign is its human component. 18 volunteers of all ages who have received or are receiving speech therapy treatment have participated by different alterations of the communication and of the swallowing “, details Argelich.

The campaign consists of various communication pieces, from digital posters, banners, a choral video and 6 individual videos, which expose the stories of the people who have participated in this initiative. It also has a website that has been expressly created, where it is explained what a speech therapist does and what disorders and alterations he treats.

In the communication materials you can find, for example, the case of Andrea, a girl who had a language disorder and who, thanks to the speech therapy sessions, has been able to explain everything she wants to her friends; or Jordi, a child deaf from birth who, with his speech therapist, has been able to discover sounds, noises and words.

Main video of the CLC campaign

What are the alterations that are worked from speech therapy?

In general, speech therapy professionals can intervene and contribute to the resolution of alterations or disorders related to swallowing and communication. The former are generally caused by diseases, such as stroke, head trauma, laryngeal cancer, facial dysfunctions; or autism spectrum disorders (ASD), dementia or intellectual and motor disability, among others.

In the case of communication disorders, speech therapists can help improve or solve language disorders, the speech or the voice, and even non-verbal communication.

Regarding language, speech therapy professionals treat alterations in social communication or speech. learning disorder that affects reading or writing.

Speech therapists also contribute to the treatment of speech disorders, how can they be apraxia (an acquired disorder of neurological origin that affects the programming of facial movements to produce speech sounds), dysarthria (difficulty articulating sounds and words due to paralysis) or the stammering. And regarding the voice disturbances, treat aphonia and dysphonia.

Images: Col·legi de Logopedes de Catalunya and Freepik

What to study to dedicate yourself to Speech Therapy?

At this time, the only qualification that enables the regulated profession of speech therapy to practice is the Degree in Speech Therapy, the most recommended by the CLC.

Previously, the profession was only accessed through specialization masters aimed at graduates in the fields of Psychology, Medicine, Teaching or Linguistics and then through a three-year diploma.

However, currently the profession has new generations of graduates in Speech Therapy “who rise with great strength and with greater professional self-esteem, a fact that will undoubtedly revert to the social recognition of the profession and of the speech therapist professionals in the immediate future”, assures Mireia Sala, dean of the Col·legi de Logopedes de Catalunya (CLC).

At the moment it does not exist in Spain no VET degree for auxiliary speech therapy jobs, although there are VET degrees that could be related to the work of the speech therapist, such as the qualification of Technician in Social and Health Care or the qualifications of Higher Technician in Prosthetic Audiology, Health Documentation and Administration, Oral Hygiene, Early Childhood Education or Interpretation of Sign Language, among others.

Regarding the profile of the student who wishes to train in this field, both Sala and Argelich emphasize that Students entering the Degree in Speech Therapy should be competent in the communicative field, both orally and in writing, in order to be able to communicate effectively with patients and their families and with other professionals.

In fact, According to the White Book of the Degree in Speech Therapy published by the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation, the speech therapist “must present correct speech production, language structuring and voice quality and must be able to communicate correctly in the languages own officers of the autonomous community where he practices the profession “.

In addition, the student should be a person with skills in interpersonal relationships, highlighting their ability to actively observe and listen and their recognition of diversity and multiculturalism; as well as being committed to professional ethics.

Career opportunities

The The majority of these professionals’ professional output is healthcare work, although there is also academic opportunity and, obviously, management, point out Mireia Sala and Núria Argelich, dean and treasurer of the CLC, respectively.

According to a recent study where 580 speech therapists from all over Spain were surveyed, most speech therapists practice in private practice (55.4%). The rest are distributed between the health field, the educational field (infant, primary and secondary), the social health field (disability and the elderly), early care and university teaching and research.

If you want learn more about the profession of speech therapist we invite you to consult the Educaweb Professions Dictionary where more details of this profession are explained. And if you are interested in specializing in this profession, at Educaweb you can find the training you need