The single largest threat to the practice of speech language pathology is the existence of non-professionals in the arena. These are those who masquerade as professionals but are not trained to play the role. They have picked up the basics of speech language pathology or SLP from one source or another. With this limited knowledge, they have started practicing this rather specialized job! There is one major reason why people do not call their bluff more often: the lack of general awareness about their existence and the harm that they can do.
Usually speaking, the speech therapy provided in many institutions, even schools, are offered by these non-professional SLPs. The reasons vary from the possible to the bizarre! For example, most of these speech therapy schools or clinics lack the budget or the government funding is not enough. As a result, they have to hire anyone who claims to be a trained SLP. There is little need for a thorough check into the person’s credentials because frankly, no one cares!
In this scenario, handling over the speech therapy of a child to such a therapist is not different from taking snippets of advice on speech therapy from the neighbourhood hack! Studies have proven time and again that if the right kind of therapy is not provided to the child at an impressionable age, the problem can grow deeper roots. You have to ensure that the child requiring therapy is in good hands. In fact, the genuine SLPs often have to undo the harm done by the non-professionals before taking them to the right track! In other words, a lot of time is spent without doing anything positive for the child requiring therapy.
Keeping these malpractices on the horizon, whenever you want to engage a Speech Language Pathology for a child or even an adult, you have to make way for a good status check. Sit in on some of the sessions to check for yourself if the therapist is worth the time and effort. The child cannot be a judge on this. It may well be that a therapist who lets them be as they are during a therapy session will be more appealing to them than someone who pushes them hard to get it right. You have to be personally involved in the process to ensure that the child is getting the best SLP therapy possible.