If you or someone you know has trouble communicating, you’re not alone. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 5% – 10% of Americans have a communication disorder. Now, imagine there was a profession dedicated to helping people like you regain the ability to speak clearly. This is the role of a speech therapist. Also known as speech-language pathologists, these professionals work with patients of all ages to assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders. Here are five reasons why the demand for speech therapy services is rapidly increasing.
As people live longer, the prevalence of age-related communication disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia is increasing. According to the Rural Health Information Hub, the number of Americans aged 65 and over is projected to nearly double from 46 million today to over 90 million by 2050. This aging population will need speech therapy services to help them communicate effectively. As a result, the demand for speech therapists is expected to grow.
In the past, health insurance companies have been reluctant to cover speech therapy. They often considered it a luxury rather than a necessity. However, that is starting to change. As research continues to show the effectiveness of speech therapy, more and more insurance companies are beginning to cover it. This is good news for both patients and therapists alike.
One of the biggest employers of speech therapists is school districts. This is because kindergartens are the first place children get screened for speech and language problems. If a child has a problem, they are usually given speech therapy services. The number of k-12 students has been growing steadily for years, which means that there will be an increased demand for speech therapists in the future.
As the general public becomes more aware of communication disorders, they are more likely to seek out speech therapy services. Nowadays, patients are now seeking treatment for a wider range of disorders, including stuttering, voice disorders, and language delays. This increase in awareness is expected to drive up demand for speech therapy services.
Telepractice is the use of technology to provide speech therapy services remotely. This delivery method is becoming increasingly popular as it allows patients to receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes.
According to www.bls.gov, employment of speech-language pathologists is expected to grow 29% from 2020 to 2030, considerably faster than the projected employment growth for all occupations. If you or someone you know has trouble communicating, don’t hesitate to seek out the help of a speech therapist. Call us today to learn more about our services.