Profession of speech therapist-defectologist: characteristics, specifics, features

The concept of “speech pathologist-defectologist”: what is the peculiarity of the profession

A speech therapist at a correctional institution is a generalist. The staff of the correctional group includes a speech pathologist teacher, educators and an assistant educator. A speech pathologist-defectologist, in turn, like a doctor, can be assigned to a specific group of students, or can supervise children of the entire institution. Everything will depend on the size of the groups and the specific mental development of the children.

The teacher helps to compensate for the speech deficiencies of each of the children, and also conducts individual work, just like the group speech pathologist teacher (typhlo-, oligophrenic-, teacher of the deaf, etc.), according to the child’s development, age and mental characteristics. A speech therapist in a correctional kindergarten interacts with a psychologist, a speech pathologist, educators and a pediatrician working with these children. As a rule, speech disorders in such children are secondary, that is, they appear against the background of a primary (main) developmental problem. And depending on what acts as the root cause, the work of the speech therapist-defectologist will be structured. Therefore, this specialist has access to the medical records of each pupil: the opinions of a neuropsychologist, psychiatrist and other doctors.

Defectologist and speech therapist for adults: are they needed and when to contact whom?

Not only a child, but also an adult may need the help of these specialists.

  • It happens that it is necessary to correct speech defects that have been established since childhood (difficulties in pronouncing certain sounds, a lisp, problems with diction, rate of speech, etc.). This is especially important for people working in areas where there is constant communication and beautiful, intelligible speech is required. In these cases, you should contact a speech therapist - with the help of modern techniques, an experienced specialist will correct such deficiencies in a short time.
  • A speech therapist will help if speech has lost clarity after dentures, as well as in getting rid of the accent in speech.
  • If speech defects appear in an adult after a stroke or traumatic brain injury, the help of a speech pathologist is necessary.

There is a specialty of speech therapist-aphasiologist. He is engaged in the rehabilitation of people whose speech has completely disappeared due to a stroke or brain pathologies of various natures. This condition is called aphasia.

The sooner you start correcting speech disorders, the more confidently you can get a positive result. It is important to understand the difference between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist - this will allow you to go straight to the address without wasting precious time.

History of the profession

Defectology began to actively develop from the middle of the 20th century. The profession itself appeared relatively recently in our country. At the beginning of the last century, doctors and teachers identified the need to work with special children comprehensively in every area, which meant expanding the staff in correctional kindergartens and schools, since educators or doctors alone are not able to pay due attention to all children at once.

And already in Soviet times, the first research center was opened in the capital - the Research Institute of Defectology. Speech therapy itself did not immediately join the ranks of pedagogical sciences; specialists in this profile initially worked in the field of medicine in speech therapy centers.

Well-known teachers in the field of speech therapy and defectology

Speech therapy, as a branch of defectology, has been the subject of research by many scientists in the field of pedagogy and psychology. But the greatest contribution to the development of science and the development of programs to eliminate speech disorders was made by participants in the scientific school of L. S. Vygotsky.

Thanks to the work of such outstanding Soviet teachers as M. S. Pevzner, R. M. Boskis, R. E. Levina, A. R. Luria, this industry was formed.

But, if we talk about a narrower understanding of speech therapy work specifically within the framework of defectology, then it is necessary to note L. S. Volkova, who throughout her life was engaged in research in this area.

General characteristics of the direction

Defectology emerged as a scientific discipline in the mid-19th century. It was perceived as a social practice that was only possible through charity. The number of medical and pedagogical institutions for the deaf, blind, and mentally retarded gradually increased, and science collected an evidence base, became stronger, and found new methods of therapy and prevention. Defectology received a serious leap in development after the Bolsheviks came to power.


  • General characteristics of the direction
  • List of specialist responsibilities
  • What symptoms should you consult a doctor for?
  • Diagnostic and treatment methods

Defectology includes several sections of social pedagogy. Among them are typhlopedagogy, oligophrenopedagogy and speech therapy. Typhlopedagogy deals with the education and training of patients with visual impairments. Oligophrenopedagogy focuses on the education and social rehabilitation of mentally retarded people. Speech therapy studies disorders, speech defects and methods of their correction. This is precisely the difference between a speech therapist and a defectologist. A speech therapist is a highly specialized specialist, and speech therapy itself is a branch of defectology.

Defectology, as a science, is supported by a colossal scientific base, which is intertwined with child psychology, psychiatry, neurology and pedagogy. An important part of the direction is special psychology. It includes deaf psychology, typhlopsychology, oligophrenopsychology and logopsychology. All of them are designed for people with certain developmental defects. Each type of special psychology deals with specific problems of the deaf-mute/blind/mentally retarded, studies the mechanisms of development of deviations, and develops methods of control and prevention.

Differences between a speech therapist and a speech pathologist

What is the difference between these two specialists, who perform essentially the same function? In both the first and second cases, the teacher is involved in the development of the child’s speech:

  • formation of correct pronunciation: production, automation and differentiation of sounds;
  • activation and expansion of vocabulary;
  • development of the prosodic side of speech;
  • compensation for speech disorders in GSD (general speech underdevelopment).

The most important difference is that, unlike a speech pathologist, a regular speech therapist works with children only with intact intelligence.

But the second specialist most often deals with children with disabilities in intellectual development. He works closely with a teacher-defectologist, with doctors (pediatrician, psychoneurologist), psychologist, educators and other specialists.

General tasks of speech pathologists

The main work of specialists is aimed at developing the child’s cognition, which is achieved through diverse programs and methods. This includes the development of memory, attention, and mental processes. Despite the narrow profile of special education teachers, they all solve similar problems:

  • individual development of sensory skills;
  • development of cultural and hygienic skills;
  • the formation of correct speech, achieved by expanding one’s horizons (the teacher introduces the child to the world around him, thereby replenishing his vocabulary and forming coherent speech);
  • demonstration of gaming techniques (if gaming skills do not correspond to the child’s age);
  • acquisition of skills in written and oral speech by the method of auditory perception (the child finds sounds in spoken words);
  • the formation of simple arithmetic skills (thanks to acquired knowledge about the quantitative and temporal features of objects);
  • development of motor skills with the help of simple creative tasks.

Indications for seeking help from a specialist

You should seek help from a speech therapist-defectologist if your baby has deviations from the norm in physical or mental development, namely:

  • Vision problems (visually impaired and blind children).
  • Hearing impairment (deaf and hard of hearing).
  • Developmental delay (impaired attention, memory, thinking, perception and other cognitive mental functions), MMD (minimal cerebral dysfunction).
  • Mental retardation or Down syndrome.
  • Autism.
  • Cerebral palsy (cerebral palsy), dysfunction of the motor system.

In some cases, with intact intelligence, but with instability of EMU (emotional-volitional sphere) and behavior, the child may also be recommended to work with special education teachers, including a speech pathologist-defectologist, if the child has speech problems.

When is this or that specialist needed?

In recent years, more and more children are faced with developmental disorders, and more and more parents are looking for a competent and experienced specialist. Children who, for one reason or another, have problems with adaptation, speech development, communication and learning at school or kindergarten need the help of a highly specialized specialist. The root of the problem may be as follows:

  • birth injuries;
  • infections acquired during fetal development;
  • diseases that arise at an early stage of development;
  • disorders of neuralgic and psychological nature.

This is only a small part of the existing reasons. More specifically, parents whose children have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, autism, echolalia, hearing or vision impairment often seek help.

Problems that a specialist in this profile works with

A speech therapist with a correctional profile solves the problems of secondary speech disorders in children who need specialized help. Children with disabilities, profound mental retardation, autism and cerebral palsy also have delays in speech development. Complications may include:

  • The reluctance on the part of the child to make contact with an adult (this is especially noticeable in autistic people).
  • In limiting the physical capabilities of children (if the motor system is impaired, complications in coordinating the muscles of the speech apparatus are observed).
  • In misunderstanding or complete refusal of help on the part of the parents of a special child (protest against comprehensive medical and pedagogical care). Often correctional specialists are faced with the fact that adults cannot accept the fact that the child is “not like everyone else.” In this case, it is important to be able to reassure parents, explain and prove to them the need to work in a specialized institution or group. The sooner help is provided, the greater the chance of compensating for developmental deficiencies and socializing the child.

The most difficult thing for a teacher to do is work with children who have severe forms of disabilities.

Therapeutic techniques

Classes of a speech therapist-defectologist with a child are held primarily in a fun, playful way. The duration of one session usually takes no more than half an hour, which allows the child to concentrate as much as possible on the learning process.

In their practice, specialists in this field use a number of the following therapeutic techniques that have proven their effectiveness and high efficiency:

  • massage of the speech apparatus;
  • breathing exercises;
  • physical exercises, warm-up;
  • finger gymnastics;
  • articulation exercises;
  • logorhythmics;
  • phonetic rhythm;
  • Su-Jok therapy.

Classes promote the development of memory, attention, thinking, fine motor skills, and enrich the child’s vocabulary.

The main task of a speech pathologist-defectologist is to improve the speech skills of a small patient, both oral and written. For these purposes, children are engaged in making sounds and articulation.

The duration of treatment is determined by the doctor individually, taking into account the scale of the problem, the diagnosis, the age and personal characteristics of the particular child.

What are the responsibilities of a speech pathologist?

A specialist in this profile works with special children as part of the educational program of a correctional institution. A speech pathologist-defectologist conducts:

  • diagnostics of speech development of children with developmental problems;
  • prevention and correction of sound pronunciation, general speech deficit;
  • work with impaired writing and reading;
  • work on developing the correct speed and rhythm of speech;
  • correction to eliminate voice disorders.

His responsibilities include:

  • Diagnose children according to their age, mental characteristics, maintain individual speech therapy examination cards for each child.
  • Work closely with the parents of each student or pupil, providing the necessary information about the dynamics of academic performance and speech development, and provide advice on various issues within his competence.
  • Conduct systematic individual and subgroup classes to eliminate speech problems.

How to become a speech pathologist, what is necessary for this?

What do you need to do to become a correctional speech therapist? To become a teacher in this field, it is not enough to take regular courses; it is a document of higher education that will be needed to work in this field of activity.

Specialists of this profile receive education at the Faculty of Psychology and Education.

Studying at the department of special (correctional) pedagogy and psychology in the relevant field allows students to receive a bachelor's or master's degree upon completion (subject to passing the second stage of higher education) and subsequently work as a speech therapist in correctional schools or preschool educational institutions.

In addition, it is necessary to have both certain professional and personal qualities.

The first include:

  • Teacher's competence.
  • Ability to apply knowledge acquired at university in practice when working with special needs children.
  • The desire to improve your skills, implement a correction program and engage in self-education in order to improve your qualifications, and constantly learn something new.
  • Responsibly treat your activities, carry out high-quality work to eliminate speech problems.

The second ones include:

  • Love for children (showing empathy).
  • Patience, stress resistance.
  • Resourcefulness and ability to think creatively.

Defectologist is a profession for centuries, past, present and future of the profession

Anna Shilova

Defectologist is a profession for centuries, past, present and future of the profession


The relevance of the study is due to the fact that the profession of a defectologist is directly related to the education and upbringing of children. Within the framework of this profession, assistance is provided to children with mental and physical disabilities to become familiar with all the diversity of the surrounding world, to form a picture of reality in the children's mind.

The purpose of writing this essay is to define the role of the profession defectologist

in the formation and development of children.

The object of research in this case is the profession of defectologist


In accordance with the goal and object of research, we formulate the tasks of the work:

— characterize the profession of a defectologist in pedagogy ;

— identify the key points of the past and present of the profession ;

— consider the future of the defectologist profession .

The structure of the work is represented by an introduction, a main part consisting of three subsections, a conclusion and a list of references.

1. Profession of defectologist in pedagogy

As N.V. Shklyar and O.V. Karynbaeva rightly note, the professional activity of a teacher-defectologist involves carrying out various kinds of social-pedagogical, rehabilitation, consultative-diagnostic, psychotherapeutic and correctional activities, the purpose of which is to assist children with disabilities and social adaptation [1].

From the above it follows that a teacher-defectologist must be a person with a special mindset, possessing such traits as initiative, energy, confidence in the results of his professional work , goodwill and tact.

As stated in the Regulations on the All-Russian competition of professional skills “Teacher - defectologist of Russia - 2018

[2], in addition to
professional qualities and skills , a defectologist must pay attention to the development of original educational programs, methods, conducting master classes, seminars, training events, etc.
Consequently, the work of a defectologist as a teacher in the special education system is an example of the highest pedagogical skill [3], focusing on helping children with disabilities, that is, those children who have certain developmental disabilities. Teachers-defectologists , being leading specialists for such children, must organize multifaceted professional activities in correctional and developmental, educational, methodological, socio-pedagogical, rehabilitation and adaptation, as well as psychological areas within the framework of interaction with both children and their parents. All this requires the profession of defectologist to have the ability to carry out psychological and pedagogical diagnostics, as well as organize psychological and pedagogical support for students.

2. Past and present professions

The history of the emergence of the profession of defectologist dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. During this period of time, many scientists began to pay special attention to the causes of childhood deviations, classifications and determination of the most effective ways of individual development of children. Thus, special centers began to be created where research was carried out and relevant specialists were trained. For example, in the USSR such an institution was the special Research Institute of Defectology in Moscow [4] .

Today, the profession of a defectologist in the field of pedagogy is in greater demand than ever, which is associated with an increase in the number of children with disabilities in Russia [5].

Currently, to work with such children, defectologists who are not only strong in the profession of defectology , but who are familiar with the features and principles of the psychology of child development. This is due to the fact that today, during the development of Internet technologies and the dependence of children on gadgets, it is very important to find the right approach to children for their effective education and upbringing, so that children see the defectologist not as a doctor , but as a teacher and friend.

The key advantage of the profession of a speech pathologist is helping children who have difficulties becoming full-fledged members of society. And in this case, the key task of the profession will be the development of personality, instilling in the child the necessary skills and abilities for further social recognition. And, indeed, providing assistance to families who have a child with physical or psychological disabilities is simply invaluable - this is where the importance of the profession .

Thus, the demand for defectologists at the moment is very high.

3. The future of the defectologist profession

Due to the fact that the environmental situation in the world and in Russia in particular is deteriorating from year to year, the number of children with limited health capabilities is growing, the demand for the profession of a defectologist is growing . Consequently, the number of children with developmental disorders is increasing. At the same time, previously the child could have had one disorder, and it was gradually corrected. Now, as a rule, these are several violations in a complex.

In connection with the adoption of the inclusive education program, special education teachers are now needed in general education schools, and not just in correctional schools. In addition to disabled children, the number of students with mental retardation has increased significantly. Now resource classes have begun to open in some Russian cities. But the problem is that it is difficult to recruit professional special education teachers . The second problem is that parents of ordinary children often have a very negative attitude towards the joint education of ordinary and undeveloped children. Society is not yet ready for change. But the fact that such classes have appeared at all is already a big step.


Thus, the fact that a defectologist is a profession for centuries has been confirmed. This profession was in demand in the past , active attention is paid to it in the present , and due to the growing number of disabled children, children with developmental delays, the deterioration of the environmental situation in the country and in the world, which negatively affects the health of newborn children, of course, this professional pedagogical direction will be in demand in the future .

Working with children with disabilities, for whom every step is difficult, is much more difficult than with ordinary students, so the results do not appear immediately.

Currently , attitudes towards children with developmental delays have begun to change, so the demand for special education teachers , but, unfortunately, there are not many such specialists yet.


1. Shklyar N.V. The profession of a teacher-defectologist and its social significance / N.V. Shklyar, O.V. Karynbaeva // Sociology of Education, 2021. – P. 203

2. Regulations on the All-Russian competition of professional skills “Teacher - defectologist of Russia - 2018

: approved by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation on June 21, 2018 [Electronic resource].
–Access mode: (date of access: 07/05/2019)
3. Gomzyakova N. Yu. Professional development of a future specialist-defectologist in the context of teaching practice / N. Yu. Gomzyakova, N. Yu. Leontyeva // Young scientist, 2015. - No. 8. - P. 900-903

4. Profession defectologist [Electronic resource]. – Access mode: (access date: 07/05/2019)

5. Statistics on disabled children in the Russian Federation [Electronic resource]. –Access mode: (access date: 07/05/2019)

6. In 2021, the global level of emissions of harmful substances will increase [Electronic resource]. – Access mode: (access date: 07/05/2019)

Specialist salary

On average, a teacher’s salary is slightly higher than that of a special education teacher, but their work schedule is different. The difference in financial terms depends on several factors, due to which the following can be noted:

  • In government institutions, workers' wages are somewhat lower, since they belong to budgetary organizations. Private preschool educational institutions and accredited schools pay employees a larger monthly salary, however, requirements and conditions may differ (work on weekends, in a room with cameras installed, etc.).
  • The salary depends on the teacher’s salary and the number of groups of children with whom he conducts classes.

Most speech pathologists-speech pathologists have an additional workload of lessons with students with whom they study privately at home. This practice is widespread in the country; it is due to the need for systematic correctional classes with special children. The hourly wage for a teacher is significantly higher than in an educational institution.

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