Do You Need To Be Good at Science To Be A Speech Pathologist?

Speech pathology is concerned with the evaluation, treatment and prevention of speech problems and disorders. The professionals who work with clients suffering from communication impediments are called speech pathologists. If you are interested to become one but fear that the science coursework might be too much for you to handle, you can breathe easy. You don’t have to be good at science to become a speech pathologist. However, you do need to be very much interested in the field because the science subjects that are included in the curriculum are going to relate to speech pathology.

Before looking into the science requirements of a speech language pathology program in more detail, it’s important to understand that the educational requirement for you to become a speech pathologist is a master’s degree in speech language pathology. While there are no strict undergraduate degrees to be taken to be admitted to a master’s program, you do need to take prerequisite courses in biology, physical science, social science, behavioral science and statistics. Understanding how the human body works especially as it relates to human communication must be mastered at this stage because it will greatly make your postgraduate studies less stressful.

In a formal master’s program in speech language pathology, there will be some science involved especially as it relates to topics that cover language disorders in children, language learning disabilities, voice disorders, acquired language disorders, swallowing disorders, motor speech disorders and aural rehabilitation, among others. Clinical practicum exposures in various areas of speech language pathology are also part and parcel of the program. Through these activities, students are able to experience the real challenges of the job first hand. This will enable you to apply the knowledge you have learned in the classroom to actual practice.

The good thing about the science discussions in these programs is that it will make you see the relationships about anatomy and physiology to speech and language. It will enable you to make the connections between the cranial nerves and oral motor skills, for starters. Every concept and discussion about the neck, diaphragm, lungs, tongue and the brain are all going to be science-intensive but because they will deepen your understanding about speech disorders and the ways to treat them, these discussions will certainly be very interesting. When you will delve into the specific details of these topics, you will be able to understand what causes certain disorders, how some deficiencies can be addressed and the course of action to take to facilitate recovery.

If you have always received mediocre grades in science subjects like biology, chemistry and anatomy, this does not automatically mean that you will not anymore become a speech language pathologist. What you will need to cultivate is interest in the science behind speech language pathology so that you can still work towards becoming a full-fledged speech pathologist. Of course, if you are already inherently good at science, you will find your courses quite enjoyable and the path towards becoming a speech language pathologist easier to tread.

Career Spotlight: Speech Pathologist

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