Speech Therapy around the World
My speech pathology colleague Eugene is currently sampling the delights of Paris and earlier in the week we were discussing how we would identify our profession in different languages. The discussion got me wondering: what is the profession of speech pathology like in other countries? I lived in Berlin and am familiar with the German system, but how about places all around the world? For my next blog series, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Speech Pathology around the World.
FRANCE: Let’s start with Eugene’s current holiday location. The Federation Nationale des Orthophonistes (NFO), or as they say on the website: “Bienvenue sur le site de la Fédération Nationale des Orthophonistes!” is the national body for SLP’s in France. According to their website, the initial idea of an ‘Orthophonistes’ was floated in 1828 by Dr. Marc Colombat. It stemmed from the establishment of the Orthophonic Institute of Paris. The institute’s purpose was to target “recovery of speech, especially stuttering”. The first formal speech pathology qualifications were verified in 1955 as a result of work initiated by Suzanne Borel-Maisonny.
I’m always interested in people who ‘pioneer’ a cause or a profession, so I looked into the work of Suzanne Borel-Maisonny a little more. From what I can find online, it seems she first began working with children with cleft palate and published her findings in the Journal of Phonetics in 1929. She then expanded her work to look at voice, speech and oral language difficulties in rehabilitation. She participated in the first round of speech pathology certifications in 1955. In 1963 she reportedly founded the Association of speech therapists, oral and written language and voice – the journal of speech therapy, which is now published by the NFO. From 1929 to 1989, she published over 250 works relating to speech, hearing and perception, language disorders, cleft palate, stuttering and many others.
In 1964, the speech pathology profession was recognized by law in France. On July 10 of that year, a National Diploma: Certificate in Speech Capacity was approved. (I’m not 100% sure that ‘capacity’ is the best translation for that). Since this time, Speech Pathology has been included in the French Code of Public Health.
At a statistical glance, as of 2011, speech pathology in France looked like this:
- 19 963 speech pathologists
- 96.3% female
- 79% work in private practice
- 11% in social establishments
- 8% in public hospitals.
- According to the FNO, the average age of Orthophonistes is 43.5.
In researching this information, I came across this video from the l’Université Laval. A nice little sample of the profession in France!
If anyone reading this works in France as a speech pathologist or has worked there, we would love to hear more about your impressions of the profession! (Or if you have more or different information to add!)
You can read more about bilingual language development here: Learning two languages
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our speech pathologist Jenna Butterworth who is a Speech Pathology Australia member.