Comm. Disorders Asst.: What’s the Job?

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Communication disorders assistants work with speech therapists or audiologists to assess and treat communication problems caused by illness, accidents, or impaired thinking and perception. They work with patients of all ages and use various techniques, including occupational and behavioral therapy. Training and program duration vary by country, and work settings include hospitals, long-term care facilities, and schools. Alternative communication methods, such as speech-generating devices or images, may be used.

A communication disorders assistant works with an audiologist or speech therapist to treat communication problems. Impaired communication can be caused by illness, accident, or impaired thinking and perception. The position of communication disorder assistant is used in Canada, where there are several colleges that offer programs to prepare for this career. In the US, the term speech pathology aides or speech pathology assistants is often used for this position.

The main duties of an assistant for communication disorders are the assessment of problems and the application of treatment suggested by speech therapists or speech therapists. Communication disorders assistants treat patients with a variety of problems. Your patients may have speech or hearing limitations or cognitive impairment.

Communication Disorders Workers work with all members of the population, from children to adults, and the job requires a lot of flexibility and judgment. The correct treatment should be applied based on the patient’s unique problem and personality. A speech disorder assistant might use storytelling to improve a preschool-age child’s pronunciation of certain sounds, while an adult patient with aphasia—the brain’s inability to process verbal or written language—may require focused attention on techniques. conversational skills and the use of writing or pictures to communicate. Communicative disorder assistants are also responsible for monitoring and reporting the patient’s progress.

In addition to knowing speech and hearing pathologies, the communication disorders assistant must also be familiar with occupational and behavioral therapy techniques. For example, an autistic child will likely require the use of behavior therapy methods and reinforcement of good deeds. An adult victim of a car accident is likely to respond best to occupational therapy methods that focus on resuming normal daily activities.

Training and program duration for communicative disorder assistants and speech pathology assistants vary between countries. Programs in Canada range from one to two years and generally require some post-secondary education. Two-year degree programs for speech pathology assistants are available in the US and are generally considered preparation for advancing to a more advanced degree.

Treatment for communication disorders takes place in several locations. Work settings include hospitals and long-term care facilities. A communication disorders assistant may also work in a hearing clinic or school.

Dealing with communication problems often involves using methods or tools to provide alternative ways of communicating. Examples of this are speech-generating devices or images to aid understanding and interaction. Communication disorders practitioners use phonology – the study of speech sounds and audiology – the study of hearing, in treating difficulties with communication. Auditory rehabilitation allows patients to adjust to their hearing loss and learn new ways to overcome their hearing impairment and relate to others.

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