What Qualifications Should a Speech Therapist Possess for Treating Adult Stroke Victims?


Quick Answer

Speech therapists treating adult stroke victims generally require certification as a speech pathologist, according to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. In California, requirements include a Master's Degree and supervised work experience equivalent to 36 weeks of full-time work with a temporary license, states California's Department of Consumer Affairs.

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The qualifications for speech pathologists are very similar in Texas to those in California, according to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Requirements in Florida vary slightly, requiring an equivalent to 9 months rather than 36 weeks of supervised professional experience. States usually also require between 300 to 400 hours of supervised practicum in addition to the requirements for supervised professional experience.

The work of a speech therapist treating stroke victims is more involved than many other types of speech therapy, and speech pathologists doing this work often also help their patients with other aspects of mouth and tongue movement, according to National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. These include difficulties with swallowing or manipulating food with the tongue. Stroke victims often must relearn speech or must learn alternate methods of communication. Language comprehension is also often a difficulty for people who suffered stroke. Rehabilitation usually begins almost immediately once a stroke victim is stabilized at the hospital.

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