An Introduction The field of speech-language pathology has its roots in the 20th century, beginning with the initial research into causes of stuttering in the 1920s. The field gradually emerged as a distinct area of endeavor in the United States during the 1930s. Then in the 1940s, thousands of American soldiers incurred ... Viewpoint
Viewpoint  |   September 01, 1994
An Introduction
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Nancy Helm-Estabrooks
    Boston University School of Medicine University of Arizona, Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders, Old PBA Building, Tucson, Arizona 85721
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Hearing Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / ASHA News & Member Stories / Viewpoint: Speech-Language Pathology Moving Toward the 21st Century
Viewpoint   |   September 01, 1994
An Introduction
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 23-24. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.23
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, September 1994, Vol. 3, 23-24. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0303.23
The field of speech-language pathology has its roots in the 20th century, beginning with the initial research into causes of stuttering in the 1920s. The field gradually emerged as a distinct area of endeavor in the United States during the 1930s. Then in the 1940s, thousands of American soldiers incurred war injuries resulting in speech, language, and hearing disorders, and were sent home for rehabilitation. Special units were established within army hospitals, and teachers, psychologists, and a few of the available “speech therapists” were recruited to treat these veterans. The need for professionals with special training in aphasia, acquired neuromotor disorders, and hearing loss became clear. This need, coupled with increased concern about childhood communication disorders, led to large-scale government support for research and professional training programs in these areas. This set the stage for the explosion of university programs offering degrees in speech-language pathology and in audiology. In many cases, these programs grew out of existing departments of theatre and public speaking, and some of us came to the field, serendipitously, because we were already enrolled in these departments.
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