Summer Break or Continuing Education
Many people look at the job of teaching as a little bit of work with a lot of vacations. Summer vacation alone is more time off from work than most people get in several years in other careers. Then there is spring break and winter break and all of the other little three day weekends sprinkled throughout the rest of the year. Right? No, not really. [continue reading…]
Congress was in the news quite a bit in December because of the many extensions that were set to expire the first of January if they were not extended. The therapy cap provision was especially concerning for those in speech, physical, and occupational therapy positions. Fortunately, it has been extended until February. However, it could still be eliminated unless Congress makes a more permanent decision. Had the legislation not been extended there would have been a 27.4% reduction in the fee schedule and exceptions for the early $1,880 therapy cap would have been removed. Just how important is it that these measures not be removed? [continue reading…]
CAS, or childhood apraxia of speech, may also be known as verbal apraxia. This speech disorder is not fully understood, however, it causes the patient to be unable to fully perform the movements required to create speech. While it may be called by a variety of names, the important connection is the child has difficulty planning and following through with the actions required to speak. [continue reading…]
Speech therapists are often the first people to work with children in a professional setting. Toddlers who show signs of having difficulty communicating may be sent to a speech therapist long before entering the public education system. For older children or adults, they may be the key to unlocking a patient’s ability to communicate with those around them. As much as speech therapists have to offer, they can’t be everywhere for each patient all the time. Until recently the only options for patients who had difficulty communicating was to spend time each week with a therapist and possibly purchase expensive equipment. For many, this equipment was prohibitively expensive and unattainable. [continue reading…]
Autism is a broad term that actually describes a wide spectrum of symptoms. A child with autism may be mostly nonverbal or they may be verbal but find communicating with others to be quite difficult. The range of speech in children diagnosed with autism is quite wide. Speech therapy can help children at both ends of the spectrum. A person with autism who is quite verbal may have a very difficult time comprehending the complex nuances within language. A nonverbal patient can learn to communicate without, or with limited speech, and with time may improve their spoken skill to a level where they can communicate with people more easily. [continue reading…]
There are two specialties that are experiencing rapid growth in the field of speech pathology, geriatrics and pediatrics. One of the reasons speech therapy for children is experiencing such rapid growth is because of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act passed in 2004. This is a federal law that guarantees services to all children with disabilities who are eligible. The eligibility process requires an evaluation of the child by the appropriate authority. When a speech delay or impediment is a possibility, that authority is a speech therapist. With older children, a school official will typically be the one to initiate the evaluation process. But what about toddlers and children who are not yet in school? Usually, a pediatrician will notice something abnormal and write a prescription for an evaluation or the parent will request a screening because of concerns.
I first became familiar with speech therapy when a young cousin needed help with her speech impediment. Her mother and the teachers at the school helped develop a plan to help improve her speech, which involved a weekly session with a speech therapist. I never thought much more about it until my great uncle had a stroke and lost much of his ability to speak. A speech therapist was employed by the rehabilitation nursing home he was sent to, and she helped him regain much of his ability to communicate. This made me realize that there is an amazing need for speech therapy in both the younger and older generations.
Geriatric speech therapy has become an increasingly popular field. Baby boomers have brought the elderly population to new heights, with an even larger increase expected in the near future. This has led to an increase in the demand in speech therapists that specialize in helping elderly patients. Some of these patients need general help due to the natural aging process, while others need help with specific problems related to an underlying medical condition.
As you grow older, your vocal cords become less elastic and your larynx muscles weaken. [continue reading…]