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Speech and language disorders can significantly impact people of all ages. These conditions especially affect children and adolescents, raising obstacles for studying and preparing for college or work. However, treatment of these conditions on a school basis is often inaccessible due to the strict criteria of assessment. To receive a more customized approach, individuals can refer to a smaller office with a number of specialists that provide specialized services. For example, parents may bring their children to a small medical center, called Through the Barrier, that is located in Baltimore, Maryland, and whose treatment practices include speech-language pathology and occupational therapy.
Name, Mission, Vision, Objective, and Purpose of the Center
The name of the center, Through the Barrier, is not accidental. This name refers to a set expression “breaking the language barrier.” This phrase has a meaning of having enough knowledge and self-confidence to speak without fear. It can apply to foreigners that learn another language, but it can also relate to people, who do not possess necessary communicative skills. For these people, breaking through this barrier of misunderstanding is very important. Through the Barrier is a speech therapy office that provides services of such specialists as speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and psychologists. The main aim of this medical center is to treat children with moderate to severe disabilities, including speech and language disorders. Moreover, specialists help patients with social communication disorders and other general communicative complications. Treatment also includes occupational therapy for children that experience difficulties with performing daily school activities.
Professionals that work at Through the Barrier share the same vision that children with speech disabilities deserve an equal chance of receiving proper education and communicating with their peers. The founders of the center set a goal to improve the writing and speaking capabilities of students that attend schools in Baltimore. Although there are many professionals, that choose to work with a certain school directly, the therapists of Through the Barrier believe that by working as a separate center they are capable of devoting more time and attention to every client. Through the Barrier is a for-profit organization that strives to provide available service to children, who require private assistance. The founders of the center decided to choose a for-profit system to ensure that patients will receive access to the best equipment. While non-profit organizations can admit any patient, the limited financial capabilities may lower the quality of service.
Location and Target Audience
The facility was established in 2013 in the city of Baltimore. According to the U. S. Department of Labor statistics, the state of Maryland is a state with high employment and salary rates for speech-language pathologists (“Speech-language pathologists,” 2017). The population of Baltimore exceeds 600000 people. The city has many public schools with their own speech therapists. However, parents that want their children to receive a personalized treatment go to private medical facilities. That is why Through the Barrier is located in Baltimore – to accommodate the needs of every child with a disability. The building of the facility is situated near a public school, not only to assure the flow of clients but also to be at a safe distance for children to walk from school independently. The target audience of the office is elementary, middle, and high school children. The ethnicity and gender of the patients vary, as the services that the center provides do not cater to a particular demographic.
Personnel: Duties and Responsibilities
Through the Barrier has a team of three speech-language pathologists, two occupational therapists, and two psychologists. The personnel also include an audiologist, who works by demand, and two office managers. Speech-language pathologists treat patients with speech disorders connected to problems with voice and articulation. They also treat language disorders, that can be divided into spoken disorders related to the inability to share one’s ideas or thoughts and written disorders that may pertain to problems with sharing or receiving information in written form (“The profession of speech,” 2017). In addition, two of the speech therapists offer treatment for patients with communicative problems. Children that have social communication disorders often experience difficulties when they try to express their feelings or follow the listener’s verbal and non-verbal signals. Speech-language pathologists can work with every client individually or assemble a number of children with similar difficulties to work as a group.
Furthermore, occupational therapists help children adapt to various school activities by implementing physical and mental exercises and educational games into children’s routine. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to improve children’s confidence in social situations. These specialists work with individuals and groups as well. Occupational therapists of Through the Barrier use specialized equipment for the sessions and have a separate room for activities. Psychologists assess patients’ behavioral patterns and qualities, discuss the treatment with patients and provide the necessary support. They can also keep in contact with parents to answer their questions and propose other ways of continued treatment at home. The center also provides audiologist’s services. An audiologist comes to assess a child’s hearing and balance capabilities. If a referred client has moderate or severe hearing disabilities that require regular treatment, the audiologist comes to the center to work with this client.
The other staff members that work on a full-time basis are office managers. The responsibilities of the two office managers that work at Through the Barrier include scheduling appointments for specialists, keeping in contact with patients and their caretakers, managing the schedule of cleaning personnel and other administrative functions. The cleaning staff is hired through a different firm to lower the expenses. An accountant is also not a permanent member of the staff. The center has multiple rooms, including a psychologist’s office, a bigger room for group sessions, and a room for occupational therapy with necessary equipment.
Employees’ Salaries and Working Hours
The relative annual wage of the speech-language pathologists for the regions like Maryland is $75000 (“Speech-language pathologists,” 2017). The annual pay of the occupational therapists is slightly higher, amounting to $80000. The audiologist does not work in the center on a full-time basis. However, the hourly wage for an audiologist in the center is established to be around $35. The medical office managers receive an annual salary of $50000. The center is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 11 am to 8 pm, to accommodate children, who cannot come to the center after school. Although therapists sometimes work during weekend days and holidays to maintain the routines of some patients. The office managers work according to a fixed schedule.
The location of the center has a culturally diverse demographic, where children come from different educational backgrounds. Through the Barrier focuses on children who were unable to get treatment from school specialists. The specialists of the center investigate the situation of every client and try to accommodate their needs. The main problem that Through the Barrier attempts to solve is a lack of connection between a therapist and a client. By shifting the focus from treating symptoms to establishing a trusting relationship with clients, therapists of the center try to uncover the cause of the problem for every child. This individualized approach allows a child to feel more secure and confident in his or her abilities. In addition, the center has a goal of providing personalized treatment to children with unusual conditions or disorders that are hard to classify and thus cannot be treated in a group environment. The center is not connected to any other establishment, which allows the specialists to have a more flexible schedule and accommodate patients with time constraints.
The center Through the Barrier is a medical facility situated in Baltimore that treats children and adolescents with communicational difficulties and speech and language disorders. The facility is located in Baltimore due to high and diverse population and a significant number of schools in the area. The main purpose of the medical center is to provide help for clients, who are unable to get treatment from their school specialists. This includes children with irregular schedules, unusual conditions, and more personal demands. Through the Barrier has eight professionals: speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, psychologists, and an audiologist, who evaluate every aspect of treatment and work interdependently to achieve the best possible results. The flexibility of the working hours and personalized approach allow specialists of the center to accommodate every patient and create a trusting environment. Through the Barrier employees hope to elevate the level of students’ achievements and improve their communicative abilities and confidence.
Speech-language pathologists: Occupational outlook handbook : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Web.
The profession of speech-language pathology. (2017). Web.