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  • Speech and language pathology in school settings


    Speech-language pathology, also known as communication sciences and disorders in the United States, is a fast-growing profession that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, offers about 120,000 jobs in the United States alone. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has 166,000 members, who are audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, and speech language pathology assistants. To begin practice in most areas of the United States, a prospective therapist must have an undergraduate degree (preferably in some area of communications) and a graduate degree (with two externships; usually about 2 to 2 1/2 years) in speech pathology. A 9-month, supervised clinical fellowship year is then completed, after which the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in speech pathology from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is granted. In order to be certified clinically competent the Praxis exam must be passed. In some areas the master's degree is not required.

  • Developmental disorder


    Developmental disorders comprise a group of psychiatric conditions originating in childhood that involve serious impairment in different areas. There are several ways of using this term. The most narrow concept is used in the category "Specific Disorders of Psychological Development" in the ICD-10. These disorders comprise language disorders, learning disorders, motor disorders and autism spectrum disorders. In broader definitions ADHD is included, and the term used is neurodevelopmental disorders. Yet others include antisocial behavior and schizophrenia that begins in childhood and continues through life. However, these two latter conditions are not as stable as the other developmental disorders, and there is not the same evidence of a shared genetic liability. Developmental disorders are present from early life. Most improve as the child grows older, but some entail impairments that continue throughout life. There is a strong genetic component; more males are afflicted than females.

  • Elective mutism


    Elective mutism is a now outdated term which was defined as a refusal to speak in almost all social situations (despite normal ability to do so), while selective mutism was considered to be a failure to speak in specific situations and is strongly associated with social anxiety disorder. In contrast to selective mutism, it was thought someone who was electively mute may not speak in any situation, as is usually shown in books and movies. Elective mutism was often attributed to defiance or the effect of trauma. Those who are able to speak freely in some situations but not in others are now better described by selective mutism.

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